Andrew Guard

2017 Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese 'Feinherb', Hofgut Falkenstein

The Estate made four different bottlings of Niedermennig Herrenberg Spätlese Feinherb in 2017. The one carrying the AP 03 (known internally as “Palm, Meyer, Deutschen”) is made from a parcel planted with 60-70 year-old vines in the south-facing Langenberg part of the vineyard and was fermented down to 30 g/l of residual sugar. This offers a beautiful nose of lemon zest, unripe pineapple, chalky minerals, herbs and white flowers. The wine is superbly elegant on the palate and leaves a stunningly mineral feel in the finish. The tension in the after-taste is simply to die for. 2022-2037 94+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