As part of this July’s ’31 days of German Riesling’ celebration we are releasing a limited edition mixed case of fine Riesling by Peter Lauer. These wines were bought at the ‘Grosser Ring’ Auction, an annual auction held since the late 19th century, where many of Germany’s most renowned producers from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer offer their finest wines at auction. These wines are not available via traditional sales channels.
Peter Lauer is based in the Saar river valley, a Mosel tributary. Like the Mosel, the best vineyards are based on slate. Unlike the Mittelmosel, the Saar Valley is in many parts exposed to cold easterly winds, you can taste this freshness in the wines. At Lauer, the focus is on dry-tasting Rieslings. Employing natural-yeast fermentations, Lauer’s wines find their own balance. They have a preternatural sense of balance, an energy that is singular. Yet the hallmarks of the Saar are there: purity, precision, rigor, mineral.
Part of the estate’s tradition is to use “fass,” or barrel, numbers as part of the identifier of each wine in addition to the vineyard name. Thus you have a wine such as “Kupp Fass 5.” The alignment of the vineyard site and the barrel may assist the natural-yeast fermentation, creating similar populations of yeasts in both environments.
This case gives you the opportunity to try four vintages of the Fass 5 Kabinett (2014-2017), and two vintages of the Fass 23 Spätlese, 2015 & 2017. Tasting notes on each of these wines are from the Mosel Fine Wine website.
Kupp Fass 5 Kabinett 2014
This Kabinett was harvested from an early selection in the same parcel as the one for the Grosses Gewächs. At this early stage, the wine is quite restrained and only hints at some beautiful cool complexity with fine floral notes, gooseberry, smoke and freshly cut herbs. The wine shows more fruit and a mouth-watering intensity on the palate, yet retains great finesse and elegance in the long finish 2020-2029.
Kupp Fass 5 Kabinett 2015
This offers grapefruit, peach and greengage on the nose. The wine starts off on the ample side but quickly firms up to deliver crisp zesty grapefruit and minerals. The long and mouthwatering finish is gorgeously tart and animating. 2025-2040
Kupp Fass 5 Kabinett 2016
This Kabinett offers a beautifully engaging nose of citrusy fruits, pear, smoky herbs and slate. It is gorgeously salty and vibrant on the palate, where it offers true Kabinett tension. The finish is precise, focused and energizing. This is a superb Kabinett in the making which combines superb drinking pleasure with outstanding complexity. 2026-2046
Kupp Fass 5 Kabinett 2017
A beautiful nose of pear, gooseberry, ginger, bergamot, mirabelle, vineyard peach, smoke and herbs. The wine has the presence of a light Spätlese of the palate but develops real Kabinett cut and sharpness in the long and juicy finish. This is simply a gorgeous wine in the making. 2027-2047
Kupp Fass 23 Spätlese 2015
This offers a superb but quite reduced nose of exotic fruits, passion fruit, ginger and herbs. A touch of whipped cream gives the nose a hint of Auslese character but any such feel is whipped out on the palate by a gloriously mouthwatering and zesty acidity (the wine has 12 g/l acidity!). The tension in this wine is simply remarkable. Think of this of a delicate yet electrifying clean Auslese Eiswein. The finish is all about fruits and minerals. What a remarkable and individualistic wine! We would not be surprised if this will even gain with bottle age as the acidity blends into the wine. 2025-2040
Kupp Fass 23 Spätlese 2017
The 2017er Ayler Kupp Spätlese Fass 23 develops a magnificent nose of grapefruit, yellow peach, pineapple, pear, ginger, herbs, slate and spices. It proves still rather backward on the gorgeously light-footed but intense palate and leaves an elegant and superbly balanced feel in the very long finish. This is a stunner in the making but one which will need some time to integrate all its elements. 2027-2047