Claude Kolms Weinbewertungen

“Großartiger Jahrgang in Deutschland”

titelt Claude Kolm in seinem aktuellen Bericht über den 2007er Jahrgang.

Hier die begeisterten Kommentare zu unserer Kollektion:

flaschen-e-mueller-rotschild

(Erschienen in “THE FINE WINE REVIEW”, San Fransico, Number 124, Copyright 2009)

PETER LAUER

2007 SAAR TROCKEN FASS 15 89/B

2007 FASS 2 TROCKEN 91/A

2007 FASS 25 TROCKEN 92/A

2007 FASS 6 SENIOR TROCKEN 92/A

2007 FASS 1 TROCKEN 93/A

2007 FASS 4 FEINHERB 90/B+

2007 FASS 3 FEINHERB 92/A

2007 FASS 12 UNTERSTENBERG 93/A

2007 FASS 11 SCHONFELS ?

2007 FASS 15 STIRN FEINHERB 92(+)/A

2007 FASS 9 KERN FEINHERB 91?/A

2007 FASS 13 SAARFEILSER FEINHERB 92/A

2007 SPÄTLESE FASS 7 92(+)/A

2007 SPÄTLESE ** FASS 23 92+/A

2007 AUSLESE FASS 10 92+/A


Previously, I have only encountered an occasional bottle or two from this estate, but I was impressed by what I tasted. Now that the wines are being imported regularly to the United States, I made it a point to visit and get to know the wines better. Be forewarned, these are not wines for the casual drinker; they are as rigorous expression of their producer’s vision as you will find.

Florian Lauer, 29 years old, is now in charge of operations here, but seems to be following exactly his father. Although you won’t see it on the main label (at least the labels I saw in Germany), the wines are primarily from the Ayler Kupp vineyard, and it is here to go if you want to understand why the vineyard is great, as much of what passes for Ayler Kupp is from inferior sites.

As with Clemens Busch, Lauer challenges the 1971 wine law and uses the individual vineyard designations that the law intended to suppress. A glance at a map showing Ayler Kupp will immediately verify that this is a just decision, as it is vineyard split into seven non-contiguous portions that obviously are separate terroirs; those that Lauer bottles by the name of the particular vineyard are all from the original Ayler Kupp and far superior to the vineyards added later to the Kupp. Each cask (Fass) is bottled separately, and for the most part, the wines have very high, hard acidity –the fine acidity of 2007 is not present here.

This is wine as it was made more than half a century ago. For the most part, the wines are sold to individual customers (90% of the wine is sold in Germany). The best wines are raised in wood Fuder, but some stainless steel and fiberglass-lined containers are also employed. 90% of the wines are fermented spontaneously (i.e., no cultured yeasts), and there is very long lees contact here, and frequently bâtonnage (stirring of the lees). Adding to the confidential nature of these wines, a green label indicates the original Kupp vineyard as the source, a gray label indicates that the source is an added-on portion of the Kupp vineyard, and a gold label indicates the best portions of the Kupp vineyard as the source. These wines will be difficult to understand at first, but are well worth your efforts to do so.

Harvesting in 2007 began on 10 October and finished on 2 November. We start with the Saar trocken Fass 16. Technically, this could be called Ayler Kupp, but as Florian deems the source to be lesser vineyards, the wine is declassified to Saar. Mineral and apricot aromas are followed by chewiness and density in the mouth with peach and apricot flavors.
The wine is a little rustic, but pleasing. 11.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr. 07 08.

Fass 2 trocken is very mineral and lemony in the nose, and pure, clear, and shows lemon and quince fruit on the palate with body and firmness and lots of acidity. There is great crispness here, and this is a classic expression of the Saar. 12% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.p. Nr.: 05 08.

Fass 25 trocken has pear and quince aromas and flavors. In the mouth, there is a little residual sugar evident. The wine is dense, classic, juicy, long, and crisp with plenty of acidity showing. 11.5% stated alcohol. Last digits
of A.P. Nr.: 01 08.

Fass 6 “Senior” trocken is designated because the wine is in the style of Florian’s grandfather (i.e., 1950s and 1960s) –powerful and off-dry. The pear/lemon nose is followed by opulence in the mouth and the wineessentially tastes dry due to the acidity, with pear flavors and lots and plenty of acidity. 11.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 06 08.

Fass 1 trocken is the most exotic wine, so far. It shows grapefruit in the nose. In the mouth, the balance is excellent and gives great finesse to the crisp acidity. The wine is essentially dry at cool temperatures, although with a little warmth, some residual sugar is evident. 11.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 7 08.

The Fass 4 feinherb smells of fresh grape skins and is very mineral. In the mouth, the wine is grapy with some yellow fruits and is sweet, indeed almost Spätlese sweet, with supporting acidity and great concentration. 10.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 02 08.

The Fass 3 feinherb is a bit riper than the previous wine with a bit finer slate and more stones. The wine shows pear and quince aromas. In the mouth, it is opulent and juicy with pear and quince fruit and a chewy/ sappy texture, plus Spätlese-like sweetness. 10.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 08 08.

We begin the parcel-denominated wines with the Fass 12 Unterstenberg from the lower and south-east-facing portion of the Ayler Kupp vineyard, by the town of Biebelhausen. (There is an excellent map of Lauer’s main vineyards on his finewinereview als pdfwebsite: www.saarriesling.de –press the Weingut link, and then on the next page press the Weinlagen link.) As with all of Lauer’s vineyard-designated wines, minimum vine age is fifty years. The wine features crisp green berries and chipped stone in the nose. The mouth is very crisp with cracking acidity and some incipient tropical fruit. It is a dry wine, great with food. 11.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 12 08.

The Fass [11] Schonfels is from very steep terraces with no forest on top to provide protection from the wind. The top part ripens, but there often is botrytis in the bottom part, and indeed this wine has about 15% botrytis. I found some spice to the nose, as well as stoniness and some honey. In the mouth, I found grapefruit flavors and juicy, chewy texture with virtual dryness until the finish, where there is some sweetness. This is an extreme expression of Riesling, and I did not really know what to make of it.
11.0% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 10 08.

The Fass 15 Stirn feinherb is about 100 meters above the Untenberg portion and is a windier and cooler site. There is a little botrytis here. The wine has dusty stone aromas with some gooseberries. In the mouth, the wine is at east Spätlese sweet, bordering on Auslese with honey and sweet/sharp sensations from the residual sugar. There is some botrytis in this wine, too. 10.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 1108.

The Fass 9 Kern feinherb is back from the river and the vines go from the bottom to the top of the vineyard on the steep, stony hill. Temperatures are often very hot during the day and cool at night. There are about 40 g/l of residual sugar in this wine and 8.8 g/l of acidity, and so again we have Auslese sweetness. In the mouth, there is cutting acidity that plays against the honey. I’m not really sure how this wine will develop. 10% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 09 08.

The Fass 13 Saarfeilser fineherb is not from the Ayler Kupp. It is a steep, south-facing vineyard that is one of the warmest sites in the Saar Valley. Unlike the other sites, which are slate soils, this is on gravel. The wine shows pineapple aromas and is sweet with cutting acidity to go with its tropical fruit flavors and overall finesse. 10.0% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 13 08.

The Fass 7 Spätlese is a selection from the vineyards and there is no botrytis here. Florian calls it his light Spätlese. The wine is deep and perfumed in the nose. The mouth is medium-weight with
grapefruit and pineapple flavors, some sugar showing, and Saar rigor. It would seem to be best after 5-6 years. 65 g/l
residual sugar here. 8.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 14 08.

The Fass 23 Spätlese ** is leesy in the nose. In the
mouth the wine shows honey with lemony flavors and a touch of grapefruit peel, great acidity, nervosity, and length.
The wine is sweet on the finish. It should be great for gastronomy. 5-10% botrytis. 80 g/l residual sugar. 8.5% statedalcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 15 08.

Finally, the Fass 10 Auslese shows some gooseberry aromas, but is largely closed in the nose. In the mouth, the wine is filigreed with high malic acidity, making for hardness to go with a juicy, chewy texture, a little honey, and some grapefruit. This is a wine to wait several years for. 50% botrytis, 100 g/l residual sugar. 7.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 16 08.

Importer: Mosel Wine Merchants, New York.