The great Ayler Kupp

The Many Mosels

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Within the region formerly and more descriptively known as Germany’s Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (known simply as Mosel since 2007), there are terroirs that rival any in the world for their myriad, their depth, and for yielding wines of uncompromising, ethereal tension. Precisely because of the abundance and the concentration of great sites, there are corners of the Mosel that would get top-billing in other, less terroir-rich regions. However in the Mosel, these sites are sometimes not fully considered or overlooked entirely.

Great vineyards exist outside the Middle Mosel. Great growers exist outside multigenerational family dynasties. Grapes beyond Riesling deserve to be experienced.

The wines of the Saar valley are in many stylistic ways the quintessential Mosels, the Mosel’s Mosels and within its many cloudy side valleys are some of the finest vineyards and growers in Germany. Florian Lauer (pictured above) and his vineyards in the historically famous, south by southwest facing, slate-speckled Ayler Kupp hillside (pictured above) should certainly be included in those groups.

Florian’s determination to separately vinify and site-specifically label his wines from the Ayler Kupp has been successful. The dry to off-dry 2014 wines from the sites of Unterstenberg, Neuenberg, and Stirn (shown in white blocks below) have finally arrived and we’re pleased to now offer them with tasting notes, along with a superfine and judiciously ripened (80° Oeschle) Kabinett and his absolutely delicious 2012 Sekt.

The Mosel’s viticultural challenges mean that sometimes great vineyards can only be preserved by the clarity, enthusiasm, and dynamism of a relative newcomer. Daniel Vollenweider, originally from Switzerland, started out as a simple devotee of Mosel Riesling, but quickly progressed to internships, before eventually buying vineyards, including one hectare of old-vine Riesling in the Wolfer Goldgrube (pictured below).

We’re delighted to offer Daniel’s dry and zippy 2014 Riesling Felsenfest, his dry and complex 2008 Goldgrube Riesling Trocken, and the stunningly filigreed and elegant 2008 Riesling Kröver Steffensberg.

However, the Mosel has a history that includes more than Riesling planted in slate soils. The (often overlooked) Upper Mosel offers the curious and the open-minded, a wholly different geology of Kimmeridgian limestone from the eastern edge of the Paris Basin and a grape, Elbing, which has a viticultural history that far pre-dates Riesling’s in the region.

Like Chenin Blanc or Melon de Bourgogne, Elbling’s qualities in the glass will greatly depend on strictly controlling yields in the vineyards. Matthias Hild is committed to safeguarding the viticultural tradition of Elbling in the Upper Mosel and offering Elblings of real concentration and depth.

Matthias’ showcase is a 1.6 hectare, terraced vineyard(shown above), planted with nearly 70-year-old Elbling vines, where absolutely all the work is done by hand. The resulting wine is called Zehnkommanull, which translates to “10%” because the wine always ferments dry at 10% abv or lower. The 2014 Zehn clearly shows its limestone pedigree with a gorgeous, mouth-watering minerality. This is one of my favorite apéritifs.

The Mosel, the Saar, and the Ruwer offer a range of terroirs and wines such that there, in truth for our drinking pleasure, regions within regions. We're proud to offer these great Mosel wines.

- David Salinas

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Hild 2014 Mosel Elbling Trocken Zehnkommanull

Small parcel, terraced limestone, 70-year-old, Upper Mosel Elbling is not on everyone's short list for apéritifs, but it should be. Pale straw yellow in color, the nose offers aromas of green plums, hazelnuts, lime zest, elderflower, and jasmine. The palate has a racy core of minerality that extends to edges of lemongrass, cardamom, and pink salt to a deliciously salty finish.

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

Lauer, Peter 2014 Saar Ayler Kupp Riesling Neuenberg

Sourced from a mid to lower slope parcel of the Ayler Kupp, the Neuenberg tends to be more opulent in style. It shows a beautiful golden yellow in the glass and the nose offers aromas of starfruit, freshly-ground ginger, and caraway seeds. The palate has a certain glycerine quality and a razor-fine minerality that carries touches of lilacs and ripe pineapples to a herbal and saline finish. Truly complex Riesling with great aging potential.

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $52.99

Lauer, Peter 2014 Saar Ayler Kupp Riesling Fass 8 Kabinett

Medium golden in color, the nose offers piercing aromas of honeysuckle, fresh mint, cardamom, and tones of hay. The palate is rounded and juicy, counterbalanced with a fine verve and lightness that is mouth-coating and refreshing with hints fresh pineapple, and Reine Claude plums that carry on to a lingering Cavaillon melon finish. Impeccably balanced and a classic Kabi!

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

Lauer, Peter 2014 Saar Ayler Kupp Riesling Stirn

Sourced from Riesling planted in the meager gray slate of the upper portion of the Ayler Kupp, this wine shows a medium golden yellow in the glass. The nose offers aromas of lime blossom, peppermint, and vanilla beans. The palate is lifted by a rush of minerality that carries notes of lemongrass, verbena and white tea to a delightfully smoky finish.

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

Lauer, Peter 2014 Saar Ayler Kupp Riesling Unterstenberg

Pale Golden in color, this wine really unfolds with time in the glass. The nose is expressive and complex with aromas of honeysuckle, white peaches, green plums, orange blossoms, and toasted almonds. The palate is finely balanced with a slumbering core of minerality that crescendos in the mid-palate with aromas of green plums, fennel, and tamarind through to a deliciously salty finish. (Fass 12).

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

Lauer, Peter NV (2012 base) Saar Riesling Sekt

Based on the 2012 vintage, this is truly fine sekt. Medium straw yellow in color and sporting a finely beaded mousse, the nose shows aromas of white flowers, lime blossom, organe blossom, and smoky tones. The palate shows a exquisite tension of minerality and fruity tones of Doyenne pears, quince, and Granny Smith apples before a wonderfully herbal and savory finish. Elegant and delicious!

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $38.99

Vollenweider 2008 Mosel Krover Riesling Steffsberg Spatlese

Sourced from a south to southeast facing, .5 hectare parcel with deep gray slate, the 2008 Krover Steffensberg shows a light straw yellow in the glass. The nose is incredibly detailed and expressive with herbal tones of mint, spearmint, thyme, holly, before honeydew and lemon bars. The palate is alive with minerality that carries sweet and sour notes of lemon and lime and carries through to a tart and saline finish. Amazing balanced and mineral Spatlese!

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

Vollenweider 2008 Mosel Wolfer Goldgrube Trocken

The 2008 Wolfer Goldgrube Trocken is a very pale straw yellow in the glass. The nose is expressively floral and fruity with notes of wisteria, violets, honeysuckle, and lemon sorbet. The palate is balanced on a pinpoint and a live wire of minerality with very fine notes of tart lemons, hazelnuts, and smoky tones that follow through to a savory finish. Fantastic dry Riesling!

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

Vollenweider 2014 Mosel Riesling Felsenfest Trocken

The 2014 Felsenfest shows lightest pale straw yellow in the glass, while the nose offers aromas of white flowers, honeydew, lime blossom, and Mirabelle plums. The palate has an ethereal lightness that remains grounded by great veins of minerality that carry aromas of verbena and chamomile through to a dry, lemon zest finish.

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99