2019 Weingut Peter Lauer, Riesling Feinherb, Fass 9 Kern, Ayler Kupp, Saar, Germany.
I’m always thrilled to try the wines from the Peter Lauer estate in the Saar , as winemaker Florian Lauer is one of the region’s best and the wines all show a crystalline purity and are mineral intense with lots of dry extract, but with a divine sense of lightness to them, and this off-dry Fast 9 Kern, Riesling Feinherb, is no exception. For Lauer, the large size of Ayler Kupp Lage (vineyard) gives it many different terroirs, as he puts it, rather than a single, defining character. With subtle changes in soil composition, exposition, altitude, and micro-climate as well as vine age all play influential roles, giving each wine their own soulful expression as is on display here with the 2019 Fass 9 Kern, which comes from a vertical parcel of old vines, showing smoky slate influence and a pleasing roundness from the concentration of fruit, but with loads of fresh acidity, all which makes this Riesling feel and drink on the drier side. There is a racy array of citrus, green apple and tart apricot fruits that lead the way on the palate here along with quince, wet shale, muskmelon, rose oil and with a bit of saliva inducing salinity. These modern Feinherbs are serious efforts, they are really fabulous wines with depth, generous mouth feel and structure with zesty acidity keeping things lively and fresh, especially these Saar Rieslings by Lauer.

The winery notes that “Kern” is named after the 19th century industrialist that cleared this more-western part of the Ayler Kupp Vineyard, it is a small parcel that spans the entire top-to-bottom reach of the Kupp. The vines are old here, well over 70-years-old with mostly slate intense soils. Coming into the winery the golden Riesling grapes are whole-cluster pressed directly in a gentle pneumatic press, with the juice occasionally pumped back in for a short maceration with the skins. Florian Lauer does his Riesling fermentations with native yeasts and is committed to very natural style with no fining agents or any other additions are ever added, except a touch of SO2. The Lauer wines see a fairly short aging period with elevage in a combination of vessels, with the majority done in stainless steel, but also fiberglass vats and with most of the Cru trockens going into traditional Fuder oak casks for 1-6 months, with varying time on the lees, depending on the cuvée. The wines at Peter Lauer are lightly filtered with diatomaceous earth, and for those that quite particular about it, all wines are completely vegan. This 2019 Fass 9 Kern wears its residual sugar nicely, it gives this brilliantly balanced Riesling Feinheb a less severe personality, it’s less fruity than a Kabinett, coming across crisply dry, making it easy to sip and even more exciting with food, excelling with things like lighter curries and or sushi.
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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