2021 Peter Lauer, Riesling Schoenfels Grosses Gewachs Fass 11, Saar, Germany
Not eligible for case discount
The Schonfels is one of the most daunting sites of the Saar; under Florian Lauer’s care, it is also becoming one of the most famous sites. While the vineyard has always had a huge reputation, Florian’s father let the site go fallow in the 1980s. The reason? It’s too damn expensive and too difficult and dangerous to farm. The vines here are over 100 years old and ungrafted. Thus, even in good years, the yield is paltry. In addition, because the site is so steep, it is very difficult and very dangerous to farm. In fact, as the site “ends” in a rock face that drops a few hundred feet to a street below, harvesters must be harnessed in, via a carabiner, to a tractor parked at the top of the vineyard. There can be no slipping here; it is truly a matter of life and death...
The Schonfels GG, as a wine, is without a doubt the most structured, brutal and mineral of Lauer’s dry wines. It smacks one upside the head like a fortress built out of slate. It is unforgiving and requires many years in bottle to integrate and become expressive. A 24- to 48-hour decant is not a bad idea. It is a monumental wine and perhaps the greatest dry wine of the Saar.