Peter Lauer Saar Riesling Barrel X 2010
I hear them, but cannot see them. Not yet. They are still a half mile or so out. Closer now. Stacking firewood, my eye on the sky. There they are: Canadian geese, 25 maybe 30, voices honking like a million kazoos. Their line straightens, turns slightly, arches and bends straight again over the ridge in a perfect V-formation.
Migration experts reckon that by flying in the V-formation geese can travel 70% further than if they fly alone: efficiency gained by reducing air resistance. But, back in the house, it is the letter “X” that now commands my attention: Peter Lauer’s Saar Riesling Barrel X 2010, to be exact.
Situated alongside the river Saar in Germany, not so very far from France’s Alsace, in fact, is the town of Ayl, where Barrel X is produced. The Saar region is characterized by its steep slopes and predominately stony, slate soil, slightly higher altitude and thus cooler temperatures. Here in the Saar, vines need to work hard toward ripeness. When it happens, the result can be super fresh and balanced wines.
And for Peter Lauer’s Saar Riesling Barrel X 2010, man, does it happen.
Lauer’s Riesling Barrel X is produced from a mélange of mature and youthful vines sourced from various Saar vineyards including Scheidterberg slope (Ayler Kupp post ’71 German wine law, I believe). From the previous vintage, spontaneous fermentation is employed using indigenous yeasts.
Massive aromatics show Granny Smith apple, apricot, lemon-lime, stones, gorgeously floral subtleties tucked away behind wisps of smoke. In the mouth, apricot, honey and citrus flavors wind around a laser beam of precision acidity. Medium-light in body and with good depth, this incredibly balanced wine is done in an off-dry style with a touch of residual sugar. Slate, mineral finish of extraordinary clarity.
Food Pairing Suggestions:
Fish in cream sauces; chicken salad served with herbed mayonnaise; spicy Thai curries with coconut-based sauces; Japanese maki cut rolls with complex creamy and/or spicy flavors; goat cheese. Real treat? Try a healthy dollop of the creamy, Greek carp roe spread called Taramasalata spread over your grilled fish.