The style at Lauer is 180 degrees from his famous Saar neighbors, Egon Müller and Hanno Zilliken – the focus is on dry and off-dry Rieslings as opposed to the residual sugar (Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese) wines of the latter two. Yet the hallmarks are similar: purity, precision, rigor, mineral. While the great majority of wines are sourced from the solid hillside of the Ayler Kupp, this single mountain is really an intricate tapestry of parcels and sub-parcels. Lauer bottles based on “fass”, or cask, numbers that are often aligned with the names of pre-1971 vineyard names. However, one shouldn’t take the fass numbers too seriously; they are based on the parcels that historically went into these fass and the style of wine they most often produced. One example, “Fass 6 – Senior” is based on a selection that Florian’s grandfather made every year for his personal consumption. On this barrel, he would write “Senior.” According to Florian, nine times out of ten, his grandfather would pick Fass 6, which held wine sourced from the western-most region of the Kupp. Thus, today, the wine from this parcel is called “Fass 6 – Senior.”
Riesling "Barrel X"
Made not exclusively from their own vineyards the 9% alcohol (plus 20 or 22 grams residual sugar), Barrel X is an untamed flavored Saar Riesling with a lovely slate aroma and a very sappy and piquant taste. It is lovely juicy and sweet, but also very elegant, and a nothing but lovely type of Kabinett, although Florian Lauer does not want to name it like this because predicates are used only for sweet wines.
Riesling "Fass 13 Saarfielser" GG
For the serious wine geek, the parcel names are also key: Kern, Stirn, Neuenbersch, Unterstenbersch are all sub-parcels of the famous Kupp. Schonfels and Saarfeilser, though classified as part of the Ayler Kupp by current German wine law, are distinct and separate sites and to Florian’s credit, he treats them as such.
Riesling "Fass 6 Senior"
“Fass 6 – Senior” is based on a selection that Florian’s grandfather (Peter the first) made every year. As the patriarch of the family, he would taste through the year’s wines and select one barrel for his personal consumption. On this barrel, he would write “Senior.” According to Florian, eight or nine times out of ten, his grandfather would pick Fass 6 which held wine sourced from the western-most region of the Kupp. Thus, today, the wine from this parcel is called “Fass 6 – Senior.”
The first Sekt at this estate was produced in the mid-twentieth century by Florian's grandfather, Peter Lauer Senior (yes, the same gentleman for whom Fass 6 is named). Generally 80% of the fruit comes from the Ayler Kupp and 20% from the Ayler Scheidterberg. It avoids the common pitfalls of Sekt in that it is neither painfully austere nor overtly sweet. It's intensely mineral and beautifully balanced with just 10 grams of residual sugar. As you can probably predict, the wine is by no means sweet, nor is it lacking in creamy, textured fruit. Most importantly, the gray slate terroir of Ayl sings through and the wine tastes unmistakably like Lauer, which to Florian's growing legion of fans should be the ultimate compliment.