WEINBAU JULIEN RENARD
When it comes to Riesling, julien Jean Renard plays Champions League. He’s quite the character: engaging, straight-shooting, rebellious – a maverick deeply committed to squeezing the best possible wine out of his grapes. Raised in northern Germany as the son of a French-German couple, he moved to Winningen, near Koblenz in the Terrassenmosel, to become a winemaker. He now runs a tiny garagiste operation, farming his 0.7 hectares of vines as organically as possible and keeping intervention in the cellar to a bare minimum. What his winery lacks in size, he makes up for in quality. Although he’s not a fan of the term, his ‘natural wines’ are top of the line.
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Mosel Fine Wines Dec. 15, 2022.
Julien Renard really likes the 2020 vintage, which turned out to be a rather relaxed one where everything went well: "2020 was a vintage without great pressure. The work in the vineyards only required five treatments, which is extremely little and the vines were doing very well. The yields were normal, even if some of our old plots do not give much anyway like every year. In 2020, I was still employed, we only harvested on weekends, but it fell very well. As every year, we started with Müller-Thurgau on the first weekend of September continued with Weissburgunder on the weekend thereafter, and finished with Riesling one weekend later. The fermentations went very well and all the wines were aged in wood, either in barrique or tonneau. The bottling was also classic, between 14 and 18 months after the harvest." Julien produced his classic range of wines from his tiny 0.9 ha of vineyards in 2020, which includes a Müller-Thurgau, a Weissburgunder and several bottlings of Riesling. All wines are as usual bone dry. Julien Renard only started in 2018 and his debut vintage was already truly remarkable. Yet, he has gone from strength to strength since and his 2020 collection is absolutely breathtaking. The Pinot Blanc is easily the finest we have ever tasted from the Mosel. His bottles of dry Riesling are stunning. In particular the Gött’che is of a level of quality which we have only found among the very finest dry Riesling … anywhere in the world. If you have not caught up with this super-star, now is the time! Just one word of caution though: Julien’s wines do have a very subtle “natural” touch. While this is very well integrated and the wines turn out to be very clean, it may not be to everybody’s taste. As you will have understood, we absolutely love this expression of Riesling. All wines are full of energy and liveliness yet also show beautiful finesse and elegance. What an awe-inspiring achievement!