Riesling Fass 87 Ayler Kabinett
For purists, there is nothing like the Saar. It is arguably one of the greatest, most unique wine-growing regions on earth. The core of greatness in the Saar is intensity without weight, grandiosity without size. Frank Schoonmaker put it best in his 1956 tome The Wines of Germany: “In these great and exceedingly rare wines of the Saar, there is a combination of qualities which I can perhaps best describe as indescribable – austerity coupled with delicacy and extreme finesse, an incomparable bouquet, a clean, very attractive hardness tempered by a wealth of fruit and flavor which is overwhelming.”
Yes, this is the Saar and Florian Lauer is currently one of the greatest winemakers in this sacred place.
Florian’s general style is exactly the opposite of his famous Saar neighbor Egon Müller. At Lauer, the focus is on dry-tasting Rieslings as opposed to the residual sugar wines of the latter. For this style, there are really only two addresses in the Saar (though more come online every year, trying to chase the style): Lauer and Hofgut Falkenstein.
Employing natural-yeast fermentations, Lauer’s wines find their own balance. They tend to be more textural, deeper and more masculine. They have a preternatural sense of balance, an energy that is singular. Yet the hallmarks of the Saar are there: purity, precision, rigor, mineral.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen this wine; very simply it is a product of the vintage, one of the best for Kabinett in a long time… as Florian said, making this wine wasn’t the plan, but there it was. Thus, from an estate where I normally have to allocate out paltry amounts of the Kupp Kabinett – this year I get to allocate out paltry amounts of this village-level Kabinett! Florian says it is a bit more nervous and linear than the Kupp bottling.
In 2020 this wine is fermented to classic fruity levels of Kabinett with 55g/l of RS with a jaw dropping nearly 10g of acidity and just 7.2% alcohol leading to a filligree and stunning wine.