Lauer 2016: Brightness in the Bottle

10/25/17 -


When speaking about the weather extremes of the 2016 vintage in Germany, many winemakers reflected on the new normal of having record-breaking weather every year. In late spring and early summer of 2016, the deluge of rain made for Peronospora (downy mildew) troubles for many, especially those who farm organically. Also, if one chose to aggressively de-leaf for increased air flow against the mildew during the wet months, they faced sunburn of the grapes at the other end of summer. Because of such extremes, 2016 was a vintage made or lost in the vineyard. Winemakers making the right choices at the right time harvested high quality grapes, most with reduced yields. However, even with the best of intentions and skill, some suffered extremely low yields. For example, Weiser-Künstler, with vineyards in the Mittelmosel towns of Wolf, Enkirch, and Traben, caught the brunt of the Peronospora, reducing some vineyard yields to 10 hl/ha. 

Florian Lauer experienced reduced yields as well, however the hot, long September helped bring phenolic ripeness and balance in the grapes, followed by favorable weather for harvest. Contrary to some of the lean and lifted 2016s tasted elsewhere, I found some of the Lauer wines to be just slightly fruitier and more giving than their 2015 counterparts. However, true to form, the electric acidity shines through, making for the incredible tension and balance we seek when drinking German Riesling. For those who've never tried Lauer wines, they reflect a distinct focus on the terroir of the Saar river valley, with a special attention to dry-tasting and off-dry wines--a true expression of each site through thoughtful farming and natural yeast fermentation in neutral vessels (more information here). For those who have followed the estate for years, 2016 is not to be missed, for early enjoyment and for aging. We are very pleased to offer a collection of Florian's luminescent wines!*

- Cari Bernard

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