Andrew Guard

Ayl - Saar

Florian Lauer is just plain talented. Some people just have it in spades and they are intense, restless, creative souls – lucky for all of us. Driving into the romantic Saar after the dramatic Mosel in January, I was immediately drawn to the countryside beauty of Burgundy and the famed Ayler Kupp is surely Florian's Corton.

One of the current projects that Florian is undertaking is the clearing of an old hillside named Lambertskirch that was once an incredibly well regarded vineyard which is not hard to believe when you consider that it is only a hundred meters or so from his incredible century old “Schoenfels” vineyard and has the same soil type. He is going to plant the site to Riesling using a massale selection of his best vines.

If Stefan Steinmetz's wines are potent and dramatic, then by contrast Florian's are incredibly precise and measured. He produces wines with the same precision and meticulous excellence that is revered and admired in the greatest German cars and Swiss watches. Each wine has a distinct saline quality (terroir) that offsets it's piercing fruit; the grandest of his wines such as “Saarfeilser” and “Kern” with extraordinary length of flavour.

A noteworthy part of my visit was the ensuing tasting that followed the vineyard tour. It became apparent to me that most of the bottles Florian used were half full and some nearly empty, I noticed that he tasted everything carefully before serving it to me and I think he must have noticed my observation when he pointed out that he was very happy how the wines were showing (as was I) considering that he had opened them all before Xmas! In short, the bottles I tasted were more than a month old and just incredible!

The estate of Peter Lauer has now been well and truly discovered and the wines have a cult following. With the tiny harvest in 2010 I do not have the same amount available as last year so if you haven't got onto these yet and they sound like your thing, I strongly recommend that you do.


Written by Andrew Guard — June 16, 2012