2017 Weinhaus Peter Lauer, Saar Riesling Feinherb, Barrel X, Mosel Germany.
One of the most exciting producers along the Saar River is Peter Lauer and one of the best values in this part of the Mosel region is his Barrel X Riesling Feinherb, especially in vintages this great, such as this exceptional 2017. This Barrel X is fruity and generous on the palate, but drinks wonderful crisp and drier than you’d expect with radiant yellow fruits, crunchy mineral tones and plenty of mouth watering salinity and stony elements. Adding heightened aromatics and a nice mouth feel Peter Lauer’s little Riesling is quite seductive and transparent with lime, green apple, peach, tangerine and rose hip tea notes in the glass. 2017 is ripe, dense and expressive, but still has reserves of lively acidity and the wine is very energetic and nervy that allows for balance and dynamic tension, which if we are honest is what we are all looking for in Riesling, and the Barrel X delivers it perfectly and at a great price.
Florian Lauer, head of Weinhaus Peter Lauer and famous for their the Kupp Fass 18 Grosses Gewachs, is currently one of the greatest winemakers in the Saar, and his drier wines are in stark contrast to his famous Saar neighbors Egon Müller and Hanno Zilliken. At Lauer, notes their importer Vom Boden the focus here is on the dry-tasting Rieslings, as opposed to the higher residual sugar wines of the mentioned more traditional Egon Mueller and Zillken. Florian who employs natural-yeast fermentations, Vom Boden adds, that Lauer’s wines find their own balance, and they tend to be more textural, deeper and more masculine in style than others in the region. They have a natural vigor and a sense of balance that can be described as singular, while displaying all of the hallmarks of the Saar, purity, precision, rigor, mineral.
In Lauer’s lineup, this Barrel X is the appellation-level or regional expression, it is Lauer’s Platonic ideal of what a Saar Riesling should be. Trying to make it easier to get an idea of what Florian is trying to do with this one, If we were in Burgundy this would be the equivalent of a Bourgogne Blanc and it is sourced from multiple vineyards in three different villages of the Saar. This is always a thrilling off-dry and steely version, lightly sweet, not overtly complicated , impossible to resist and a gateway wine to his more impressive Grand Crus.
Maybe not as complex or as seriously severe as his GG bottlings, this is a stupidly good Riesling to drink any place or time, it is remarkably flexible and can be sipped and quaffed on it’s own by the pool or great for a warm afternoon picnic or BBQ, as well as with a range of cuisine choices. This 2017 Peter Lauer Barrel X Fienherb is pure and vibrant adding wet stones and quince to its profile with air and shimmers in the glass with a greenish, pale golden hue, this is a fun and soulful Riesling of fine quality and value, drink now through 2026.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive