Andrew Guard

2022 Krettnacher Altenberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Hofgut Falkenstein

The 2022er Krettnacher Altenberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken comes from 50-60-year-old vines in the Enkers part of the vineyard. Slightly reductive and flinty at first, this develops a minty ad spicy nose of aniseed, vineyard peach, minty herbs, lime tree, and white pepper. The wine is very intense and compact on the palate, with great presence yet freshness and comparatively lightness in the long and vibrating finish. The finish is tight and salty. This is a great dry Saar Riesling. 2025-2037 92pts - 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