Andrew Guard

2018 Krettnacher Altenberg Riesling Spätlese Feinherb, Hofgut Falkenstein

The 2018er Krettnacher Altenberg Spätlese Feinherb comes from 50 year-old vines in the Enkers sector of the vineyard, and was fermented down to 15 g/l of residual sugar. It starts off on the restrained side of things and only gradually reveals timid flavors of vineyard peach, candied grapefruit, almond cream, quince and red apple on the nose. With airing, minty herbs and herbal tea join the party and add a fresher side. The wine is delicately creamy and fruity on the palate but gains in focus and tension in the long and almost dry-tasting finish. The after-taste is deliciously spicy and energetic. This needs a few years in the bottle and could well turn even better than expected if it further gains in complexity. 2025-2033 92+pts - Mosel Fine Wines

Erich Weber of Hofgut Falkenstein makes ultra-traditional, mostly dry-tasting Saar Rieslings. He likes to call himself “Winzer Weber.” Winzer is German for winegrower. In other words, the emphasis is on the work in his vineyards. With his tan and rugged face, he looks the part, too.

Erich ferments exclusively with wild yeasts in old wooden casks in a deep, cool cellar, and most of his wines end up either naturally dry (trocken) or off-dry (feinherb). Falkenstein, therefore, is one of the rare Saar producers that specializes in distinctive, bracing, light, dry Rieslings, bottled traditionally by the cask.

Falkenstein makes light-bodied, tangy, wholesome, dry-tasting Saar Rieslings, as well as residually sweet Spätlesen and Auslesen. These are old-style wines for drinking, which often retain a lively (spritzig), natural efferverscence from fermentation. In other words, they go down well — Trinkfluss in German. © 2014 Lars Carlberg