Yes on the Saar: www.larscarlberg.com
That’s a good point, Alex. Just to be clear, the first pressing, which includes the free-run juice, is the most gentle and gives the finest must. It’s quite a luxury (or sacrifice) to do this. While it’s true that the acidity drops when you press harder, it was the extreme drop of acidity with further pressing at a higher bar that concerned us the most in the 2018 vintage. It’s usually a gradual decline. We always harvest ripe grapes because of our rigorous pruning and vineyard work. Our yields are very low (just one flat cane per vine) and mostly from old vines. We also press the incoming grapes whole and quite gently, no matter the vintage.
Thank you Lars for your comments.
Big fan of Falkenstein.
You’re welcome, Karl.
I should do a better job reading about the wines I drink… Lars, I didn’t realize your role in making Falkenstein. Love the wines, cheers!
Thanks, Jim! I don’t make the wines. Johannes and Erich Weber are the winemakers, but I did a two-year apprenticeship at Hofgut Falkenstein, and I continue to help in the vineyards and cellar as a full-time employee.
That’s really great too if it’s AP 14. I can’t remember if I posted a more extensive note here but here is my brief note from 1.5 years ago in IG:
Yep. Mine is the 14. Thanks.
In the last few vintages, there are usually two casks of Euchariusberg Spätlese—AP 6 and 14. AP 14 comes from old vines on the higher and steeper section of the south-facing slope. It can be either the parcel nicknamed Förster or Ternes, or both. It depends on the yield. The grapes from Förster often make the single cask of Auslese. These two adjoining old-vine parcels are arguably the most impressive in our contiguous block of nearly three hectares in the heart of the original Euchariusberg, also known as Großschock, which is colored dark red on Clotten’s 1868 tax map. AP 6 is a well-placed old-vine parcel just below them. For what it’s worth, David Schildknecht tends to prefer AP 6 in his reviews for Vinous. Happy Easter!
Yes correct, but if you look on the map, the Euchariusberg is as close to the Mosel as it is to the Saar . But indeed, technically it is in the Saar.
PS for me from a Luxembourg point of view, anything in Germany in a 2h radius I view as Mosel, but I guess that’s not correct.
As of 2007, I believe it is all “Mosel” under the German wine law. You can put “Saar” or “Ruwer” on the label if the wine is from those regions proper, but a wine from any of the three subregions is required to bear the name “Mosel.” In other words, Mosel, Saar and Ruwer make up the Mosel wine region.
Thanks for the more specific information. For me, I am still at a more basic level with regards to these wines. I got a taste of a Falkenstein 1989 years ago from David Schildknecht when he was in retail in DC at a store called Pearson’s. It had really high acidity and not much body and I decided this wine was not for me. Never thought much about them again. Then, I went to the big tasting at the Rieslingfeier in NYC a couple of years ago and tasted some 2015s. I was very surprised at how much I liked the wines. They were really the surprise of the day for me. I looked for the wines in DC and did not find them. But, when I was in NYC a bit over a month ago for the Paulee (or, given how much the world has changed since then, 100 million years ago), they had this spatlese at Crush and was very excited to buy some. Have not opened it yet, mostly because I plan on drinking one and aging the others and I have a couple of friends who are German wine lovers that I want to try it with - given the world, this has not been possible. I look forward to the day when I can see these friends and open this bottle.
You’re welcome, Howard. That’s true. Back then, Erich Weber only produced bone-dry Saar Rieslings. It’s about a third of the production nowadays. I hope you can uncork some bottles with your friends later this year.
Quite. Mosel means MSR, and has for some time.
Yes, the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region was legally established in 1909. Before then, all the wine was called simply Mosel wine, though, as today, the Saar was often mentioned as a distinct subregion, hence the “Saar und Mosel Weinbau-Karte,” which was first published in 1868 (the fourth and last edition was 1906). The wines of Trier and its side valleys, as well as those in the Ruwer subregion, however, were grouped under Mosel wine. “Mosel-Saar-Ruwer” was officially required on labels from 1936 to 2006, when for marketing reasons it was officially shortened to “Mosel”—an unpopular move among most Saar and Ruwer producers.
As Alex pointed out, the producers on the Saar and most recently on the Ruwer can put their respective subregions in a smaller font than “Mosel” on the label. (On the Ruwer, there is a village named Ruwer that precluded producers from using this name as a subregion post-2006. This status changed not too long ago when the town no longer had vineyards in production.)
Me too. Thanks. Were you pouring the Rieslingfeier when we were tasting the 2015s? I am trying to remember whether I met you there.
Most importantly to me, wines from the Saar tend to taste different from wines from the mittelmosel. And, the few Falkenstein wines I have had tasted much more like Saar wines. The Saar is always my go to spot for wines in warmer vintages because they retain their focus better than most German wines in those vintages.
For example, while I have not had any, many on this thread raved about the focus of the 2016 Falkenstein wines. Are there a lot of 2016s from German wine regions where this would be true?
FWIW, Howard, I was not particularly enamored with the general character of the 2016s in the middle Mosel and Ruwer I tried compared to many other vintages but I have really liked the Saar wines I have tried from Falkenstein and Egon Muller.
After buying a bunch of 2013s and 2015s, I did not buy much 2016 German wines because of what I read about the vintage. I did get a few bottles of Zilliken, my go to Saar producer (Muller is too expensive). A bit surprised the Ruwer did not show better - do not have any so cannot comment other than surprise. Grunhaus did so well in 1989, a great vintage for them.
I thought the Grunhaus wines were good but a little soft for me compared, for example, to the insane 2015s. Maybe it was baby fat. Hard to tell. 2016s generally were an easy pass for me given how much I bought in 2015 and how much MSR Riesling I have in the cellar, including Grunhaus. My view after tasting 2016s from most German producers was if I was going to buy at that time, I should backfill 2012, a vintage I largely missed on release unfortunately.
On Egon it’s what I tried at Rieslingfeier and with a friend. I don’t buy them. Too expensive.