The Saar Electric: New Arrivals from Hofgut Falkenstein!

8/3/16 -

Hofgut Falkenstein stands surrounded by verdant vineyards and gardens, high above the Konz valley, a tiny side valley off the Saar River. Its roof was just recently restored in a traditional German style, utilizing thin, slate tiles, reminiscent of inky-gray fish scales, or plates of stone armor gracefully curving upwards to frame the tiny windows jutting out from the upper level of the house. Upon arriving, as if on cue, a falcon (I kid you not) took wing, gliding over the vineyards. We would see more falcons on our tour, as they scanned the ground around the vines for tiny creatures to dine upon. Returning to the house, we found three slightly larger creatures -- the family cats -- sleepily lounging or padding about, just barely keeping an eye on us. Winemaker Erich Weber laughed and made a comment that he started with three sons and somehow ended up with three cats. Two of the three sons live elsewhere and come back to help when possible. Erich’s middle son, Johannes, graduated from Geisenheim and works alongside his father in the vineyards and cellar. The Webers are jovial and light-hearted, quick to make a joke or crack a warm smile, but they also have an incredible dedication to their work.

If you've been a customer of Chambers Street Wines, you are no doubt familiar with the wines of Hofgut Falkenstein. If not, this is a great vintage to get to know them. Chambers Street Wines has had a wonderful relationship with the Webers, and for all the right reasons. They work some of the finest, most underrated vineyards in the the Konz valley, with a diverse range of soils including gray, blue, and red slate, quartz, and green basalt. Around 40% of their vines are ungrafted, the oldest being upwards of 80 years in age. The cellar work is very traditional: they do not chaptalize, the musts go through spontaneous fermentation and natural sedimentation, and the resulting wines are aged in used Fuder (1,000L barrels). They even label the bottles by hand, and after spending time with the Webers, you know that they wouldn't want it any other way. Their wines are lucid, crisp portraits of the Saar, through the unique lens that is cask-by-cask bottling. 2015 was a fantastic vintage for the Webers, yielding crystalline wines with the stony, salty, punchy vibrancy of the house style. We are pleased to present the new releases from Hofgut Falkenstein!  -Cari Bernard

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