“Barrel X” is winemaker Florian Lauer’s Platonic ideal of what a slightly off-dry (feinherb) Saar Riesling should be. If we were in Burgundy, this would be the equivalent of a “Bourgogne Blanc.” As an appellation-level wine, it is sourced from multiple vineyards in four different villages of the Saar: Ayl (Lauer’s home village), Saarburg, Wawern and Wiltingen. Florian says, “From Ayl and Wawern, the wine gains the fruit and power, from Saarburg the racy acidity, and from Wiltingen, the spice.”
Regardless of what comes from where, this much is certain: dollar for dollar, I’m not sure there is a 750ml bottle that delivers as much joy and zing. This is the gateway drug to Lauer, to the Saar, to Riesling… be careful. Very addictive.
vineyard work: All vineyard work is done by hand due to the incline of the vineyards. Absolutely no use of insecticides/pesticides or fertilizers; the work is completely organic but not certified as such because Florian refuses to spray copper on the vines. He is alarmed and disturbed by the amount of copper buildup in many organic vineyards and the impact the copper has on the microorganisms in the soil.
vinification: Whole-cluster grapes are pressed directly in a pneumatic press, with the juice occasionally pumped back in for a short maceration. All fermentations take place with native yeasts and no fining agents or any other elements or products are ever added. Wines mature in a mixture of stainless steel, fiberglass and traditional Fuder for 1-6 months on the lees, depending on the cuvee. No fining agents are used. The wines are lightly filtered with diatomaceous earth; all wines are vegan.