It's September, which means the boats are soon arriving into our harbors with new releases from Europe. This is happy news for lovers of German Riesling, as the pre-arrivals we've been eagerly awaiting are about to dock; soon we'll be able to load up on all the best wines from the delightful 2011 vintage, which happen to be drinking really, really well right out of the gate. Those who've tasted some of the 2011 Willi Schaefer we were fortunate enough to stock in June are well aware that the vintage offers a LOT of early drinking pleasure (there's still a chance to secure other wines from Schaefer before they come in at the end of the month and our special pre-arrival pricing ends).
Some of our favorites this year are from a few of Germany's brightest and most talented young growers, Florian Lauer of Peter Lauer, and Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler of Weiser-Künstler. We'll offer more wines from both soon, but today we want to focus specifically on two cuvées. These well-priced wines act as ideal calling cards for each estate and as unbeatable everyday values for those familiar with their higher-end wines.
We've written about both Lauer and Weiser-Künstler before, but it's important to remember that these are young growers who, along with a handful of others you can find on the shelves at Chambers Street, are helping shape the future of Mosel Wine. They defy expected notions (not everything is sweet), they buck trends (dry wines aren't fetishized) and they produce top-level wines with a remarkable degree of skill; wines that you wouldn't mistake for having come from anyone or anywhere else.
Lauer's Barrel X is pretty much the textbook definition of the vague term feinherb: it has some mild sweetness, but not much; just enough to give the wine a light sense of fruitiness. It's crisp, refreshing, bright, and the 8g/l of acid help it to finish fairly dry on the palate. Wild yeasts provide an added degree of aromatic complexity, as they do for all wines at this estate (use of wild yeasts is still not as common as you'd think in Germany). Weiser-Künstler's Kabinett is a best-seller for us every vintage. Konstantin and Alexandra are carrying the torch for the classic, light, filigreed Mosel style, and are bringing youthful excitement and unsurpassed talent to a category that many older growers are turning their backs on. It doesn't hurt that they have such stunning material to work with: all their vines in the underrated Enkircher Ellergrub are ungrafted and up to 100 years old. How many growers out there would save such high-quality grapes for such a seemingly humble wine as Kabinett? The old vines and Konstantin’s gentle hand in the cellar give this an unparalleled combination of deftness and sappy concentration. Both wines are set to arrive later this month. -jfr