TN: 2012 Peter Lauer Riesling Schonfels Faß 11 GG (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer)

2012 Peter Lauer Riesling Schonfels Faß 11 GG - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (11/14/2014)
I don’t know what to make of this. The fruit is very ripe, exotic even - overripe pineapple, papaya, and key lime. There’s a kiss of confectioner’s sugar on the nose, along with a subtle, but still surprising, touch of vanilla and coconut. There’s an herby note, and a funny smell of stomach acid. On the palate this shows much less ripe than the nose promises - muted pineapple, very savory, slightly hollow midpalate, light body, nice acid but not tart. But it finishes intensely bitter - like chewing on grapefruit pith - and the bitterness lingers in the mouth for an eternity after you swallow. Wonder why this is so bitter, and whether that integrates. Fascinating wine, but I’m not sure its good.

I should add that I absolutely adore the Lauer pradikat wines.

Not for you. Move on…this could become your white texier . . .

GGs are, in general, a waste of good grapes.

I bought this wine based on a great showing at the EP tasting in London. I’m intrigued and worried by your comment re the bitterness though. When I tasted through the off dry and sweet wines earlier in the year (may) most had a horrific bitterness to them - like biting slate covered in urine! By the time of the GGs tasting (September) less than 20% were showing that bitterness.

I wouldn’t worry Dan, I asked Sebastian to suggest any of his dry wines for drinking in the next few years and he suggested six of these. Will try one at Christmas.m


Please report back!

Merry Christmas.



I adore GGs from other regions, but try as I might (and I have tried a bunch) I just cannot warm up the the category in the Mosel.

I’d rather continue to drink one of my favorite producers, thanks. And if your quarrel is with folks who don’t love GG from the Mosel, then, well, there are a whole lot of folks who wish they’d leave some sugar in.

Gosh! I think I agree with this. Especially with the “generally” caveat. 2010 and 2011 Schönfels were spectacular. It felt like the Lauer team (square peg) kinda forced this wine into the G.G. box (round hole).

Haven’t had much experience with GGs (or with Rieslings in general), but I liked two that I tasted at the Chambers St.-Louis/Dressner Selections 43rd Tasting last Spring:

Clemens Busch

  • 2011 Riesling Pündericher Marienberg Grosses Gewachs $48
    Interesting. Dry style. Very good.

** 2011 Riesling Pündericher Marienberg Grosses Gewachs Rothenpfad $55
Wow! Opens fruity, then a bit edgy. Tastes kept changing in the mouth. Young and not yet fully integrated, I think. Very long, slight bitterness. Really interesting, my WOTD. From the red schist parcel of this vineyard.

I’ve been trying a few Rieslings lately. I find them very chameleon-like, often the tastes change, come and go with time. A kaleidoscope of flavors, at least in some wines.

I had a pretty similar impression of the Ayler Kupp GG, although without the bitterness. Didn’t do it for me.

It doesn’t help that the GGs are more than twice the price of the Senior, and significantly more than Stirn, Kern, etc.

Yes, in general the prices are very high over here (US). For ex. I just bought a Van Volxem for $40 that goes for about $26 in Germany.

Though IIRC that kind of mark-up isn’t so unusual with wines from Europe.

My point wasn’t about the absolute prices, just the relative prices within Lauer’s lineup. I paid $50 for the Ayler Kupp GG and $26 for the Fass 6 Senior. I prefer the Senior to the GG straight up, but at those prices it’s even more of a no-brainer.

Do you mean just the Mosel proper, excluding the Saar and Ruwer?

Zillliken’s GG Rausch is killer and really inexpensive given the quality. Kartauserhof has only been labeling their Auslese Trocken as a GG since 09 but that has a serious track record. Not cheap in the US, but really great wine.

I do not mean just the Mosel proper. I have tried GGs from all the sections of the Mosel designation (i.e. the M, S and R), and cannot warm up to them at all.

I happen to be a huge fan of Zilliken, but do not enjoy their GG at all. Same goes for Willi Schaefer. Same for Lieser. Same for Karthauserhof, regardless of what they call it…same for…same for…

If it’s going to be an essentially dry wine, give me Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Franken every time.

The 2010 Marienberg Fahrlay was quite possibly one of the best GG wines I have drunk.

Lots of, to my mind, strange commentary in this thread. I’ll throw in a few opinions without meaning to insult any of yours.

Wow, quite some statement, even with the ‘generally’ qualifier. As a personal opinion, ok. I disagree, find lots of intrigue in many GG. Prices are high, but for the best not really compared to other great white wines. Exactly how they will age is still unknown, but I am quite positive on prospects.

To me the Nahe is probably the best region for GG, but I am a big fan of MSR wines and like trocken versions and also several GG. (Not personally very keen on the Rhein or Pfalz regions for Riesling, but that has some to do with style and a lot to do with my preference for the poor rocky soils of Mosel and Nahe and the wines’ more linear structure, higher acidity, tension and minerality and lesser power and lushness.)

Finding bitterness or disjointedness in a GG two years removed from harvest should not be a big worry, these are wines meant for the long haul and not to be drunk this young. Some may be approachable, others not, but for the better wines tasting at such an age should be with an eye towards future.

Ok again, as an opinion. But a somewhat strange perspective. The Senior is made as an easy drinking almost quaffable wine. If you prefer this style among Lauer’s lineup, no problem. But it’s a little like if I were to say: “I prefer Vajra’s Langhe Nebbiolo to his Barolo Bricco Viole. At three times the price it’s even more of a no-brainer.” Ok, that would say something about my taste, but kind of meaningless in a discussion on Barolo.

Has Lauer forced the Schonfels into a poor fitting hole? Could be, others with more tasting experience at the estate will have to chime in or decide if the entry into the VDP has changed the wines and if so negatively. I’m confident in the vineyards and the people.

In general I’m a little befuddled by many Riesling fans bemoaning of wines that are dry, or other fans bemoaning of the sweet(ish) ones. Personally I can appreciate both, and find pleasant as well as world class wines that are very dry as well as having various degrees of RS. The MSR’s soils and climate leave lots of room to work with the exciting interplay of acidity, structure and sweetness. Though I mostly prefer dry versions, J J Prüm’s Kabinetts are among my favorite wines. There should be enough wines, both dry and various levels of sweetness, for most all to find their sweet spots. If not with every single producer, there are so many good ones choice is still very wide. The only whining I can see has some merit is the lamenting of the seeming disappearance almost of the very light, lower RS Kabinett style.

Geir, for me, it is wholly a question of taste. I find dry rieslings extremely one dimensional and boring. On top of that, after drinking a glass, I have to take an antacid too! Granted I haven’t had many dry German wines, for (a) I don’t actively seek to try them and (b) I don’t get invited to events where many of these are tasted, as I am pretty vocal about my dislike for all dry riesling. Thus my experience is somewhat limited. I do not expect that every single bottle of dry riesling would taste bad to me, and I do try to keep an open mind when I taste one, but given my general dislike for the style, spending the money and time to find the right one for me is just too much, especially since I love the Praedikat wines so much more.

And in that light, I find the continuous trend towards more dry wine production somewhat insidious, as more and more grapes from sites like Hermannshoehle, Domprobst, Halenberg, etc. end up in these monstrosities, leaving less for the traditional Praedikat wines. Not to mention that many Weinguter select the best grapes for these GG horrors… so with what does that leave poor old me?

This is a really interesting discussion, especially as my bank manager is not too keen on me buying GG!