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As unreal as it feels to be in 2017 already, we still have new arrivals from 2015 to get excited about! January heralds the release of the GGs (Großes Gewächs, 'great growth': dry wines from 'Grand Cru' vineyard sites) from Florian Lauer at Weingut Peter Lauer in the Saar, along with single-vineyard Grand Cru/Große Eule bottlings from Weiser-Künstler in the Mittelmosel, which arrive later this month. Today we are pleased to offer the Lauer GGs, coming from three vineyards: Kupp, Saarfeils, and Schonfels.
Ayler Kupp is located on a large hill with south to southwest exposure (see above photo). As a result of the German Wine Law of 1971, the name Ayler Kupp can now be applied to wines coming from the majority of the hillside, along with some satellite vineyards in the surrounding area. The grapes for the Lauer Kupp GG are sourced from the middle swath at the curve of the hill: original Kupp. Historically, this location was considered prime for planting grapes, as the snow would melt here before elsewhere on the hillside. Saarfeils is Florian's warmest site, located across the river from Kupp, with more gravel-heavy soils and a steeper grade. South from Saarfeils and Kupp, Schonfels is a breathtakingly steep, blue slate-dominant site, with some older vines planted before the 1960s.
These wines are fantastic reflections of the unique terroir of the Saar river valley, made possible in part due to the dedication of preserving prime, historically significant, and challenging vineyard sites. In the cellar, Florian uses natural yeast fermentation and neutral vessels to keep the wines unfettered and bright. The 2015 GGs from Lauer boast powerful minerality, elegant structure, tension, and age-worthiness. We hope you enjoy! Cari Bernard
The grapes for this GG come only from mid-slope Ayler Kupp, at the turn of the hill. This legendary location makes for age-worthy wines with verve and complexity. On the leaner side in comparison to Saarfeils, which is the warmest of the three 'Grand Cru' sites; the Kupp GG is incredibly stony, with notes of mango, white peach, and a touch of apricot kernel and grapefruit zest on the finish. Cari Bernard
Lauer's warmest Grand Cru vineyard with predominately gravel soils, the Saarfeilser GG is dense and creamy (for a Lauer wine), herbal and floral, balanced by tart nectarine skin. A fascinating and elegant balance of rich texture and bright acidity, this wine is poised to develop beautifully with time. Cari Bernard
This steep site basically dead-ends into a cliff above the river and I found myself walking about one-third of the way down into the vines before deciding I still had things I wanted to do with my life, and tumbling off a cliff wasn't one of them. Proximity to the river gives adequate warmth and cooling breezes to provide the key diurnal temperatures that influence acidity and expressiveness of aromatics. The soil here is mostly blue slate, which also helps to absorb the heat from the sun. The intensity of the site is mirrored in the wine, with complex, awe-inspiring structure and a mineral angularity. The wine is stony and salty with notes of lemon zest, white pepper, peaches, and fresh pollen. Cari Bernard