2022 Weinhaus Peter Lauer, Riesling Feinherb, Barrel X, Saar, Germany.
This 2022 version of the Peter Lauer Barrel X Feinherb drinks beautifully and crisply dry and pure with a steely focus and sublime generosity showcasing the vintage perfectly, making for a stylish Riesling that does not in anyway disappoint and is a stunning value. The electric palate revolved around citrusy lime and kumquat, as well as bright peach, quince and tart green apple fruits, plus some tropical notes, floral aromas and saline infused stone. Maybe not as complex or as seriously severe as the GG bottlings and special Trocken Fass series bottlings, this is still a stupidly good Riesling, an outstanding effort in this vintage, to drink any place or time, it is remarkably flexible, as I’ve said before, 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. In Lauer’s lineup, the Barrel X, which has its own cult like following, 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. It should be noted, these modern Feinherbs, like Lauer’s, are serious efforts, they are really fabulous wines with depth, a gracious mouth feel and a poised structure with the classic zesty acidity keeping things lively and fresh, especially these Saar offerings.

Florian Lauer, as mentioned in prior reviews, head of Weinhaus Peter Lauer and famous for his 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, as noted by 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. As a reminder, though a Feinherb (technically not completely dry), this Barrel X by Weinhaus Peter Lauer, has loads of lively acidity and the wine is very energetic and nervy on the lighter framed palate that allows for balance and a dynamic tension, that tends to be what we are all looking for in Riesling, and this years edition delivers it perfectly and at a great price. The brilliantly pale gold Barrel X comes from mainly slate based soils and some vines over 70-years-old and the 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 native yeasts and wines see a fairly short aging period with elevage in a combination of vessels, with the majority done in stainless steel, as this case here to highlight purity and transparency. If you get this Riesling, I highly recommend grabbing a few and drink over the next 3 to 5 years, though no real patience is required.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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