The 2020 vintage generated some beautifully elegant wines among which this stunning Kabinett by Weingut Peter Lauer.
The 2020 growing season was hot and dry and the harvest season mostly cloudy and rainy: The result is a unique vintage with incredible lightness, filigreed precision, subtlety, and a dash of ripeness.
Few wines epitomize these classic traits of Mosel Riesling as well as the amazing 2020er Ayler Lambertskirch by Peter Lauer.
Weingut Peter Lauer in Ayl is an old traditional name in the Saar. In the early 2000s, Florian Lauer took over the family Estate and set out to extend the family portfolio more into dry and off-dry wines but also to reveal the different sides of the Ayler Kupp terroir. He bottles separately the products of the front (east-facing parts) from those in the middle and the back side of the hill. He also set out to revive some forgotten vineyards on side hills around Ayl, notably the Schonfels and the Lambertskirch (more this later).
The style is one of presence but also incredible finesse. The Estate does not shy away from some partial malolactic fermentation. As Florian describes it, "I don't look for malo but I don't try to avoid it. It just happens in parallel." This approach takes the edge out of the acidity, and if done with care, without adding simplifying lactic notes. Its top wines are however still aged in traditional wooden casks.
2020 proved a milestone vintage at the Estate as the wines are full of elegance yet retain this subtle intensity which has made its success. As Florian Lauer explained, “The growing season was warm and sunny. Once again, we started our harvest early to preserve the acidity levels. With hindsight it was the right decision. We harvested grapes at around 80° Oechsle mostly destined for our Kabinett bottlings in mid-September and were able to bring in approx. one-third of our grapes before the rain of the end of the month. This rain did a lot of good to the vines and their leaves. The sun gave way to clouds, which meant that there was no more substantial progression of Oechsle degrees from that moment on. The grapes harvested after the rains yielded wines with slightly more body and flesh. Despite the fact that the sugar density in the grapes did not exceed 88° Oechsle, the grapes were physiologically ripe and gave great aromatic ripeness and even sometimes some overripe aromatics to the resulting wines. Analytically, the wines have less acidity than in previous vintages, but the pH levels are extremely low, sometimes as low as 2.7! Stylistically, I see many common points with vintages like 2008, 2001, and 2002. The 2020 wines are easy to drink and enjoy at this early stage: They are salty, minty, and ethereal.”.
The Peter Lauer Estate is best known for its wines from the Ayler Kupp. However, as we already mentioned, Florian Lauer also has a sweet spot for some of the somewhat forgotten hills around Ayl. This includes Schonfels (now one of its top holdings) and the little known Lambertskirch, a tiny 0.2 ha north-east-facing steep vineyard overseeing the Saar.
That this vineyard is less known has its reasons. This once fine vineyard owned by one of the grand (now defunct Estate in Saarburg) had been uprooted in the 1980s. It was serving as tree orchard before Florian Lauer was able to revive it in 2010. The story is truly remarkable and readers interested in the full background will find a detailed account here.
The first commercial vintage in 2014 proved already a remarkable success. The vineyard went from strength to strength over the years, regularly featuring among our vintage highlights despite the fact that its vines are still young.
The 2020er Kabinett epitomizes everything great about the Peter Lauer style: The wine proves intense yet, at the same time, ethereally light-footed, deep, and complex. If there is only one drawback, it would be that quantities are unfortunately limited. We do have good news though. The other Kabinett from the Estate are stunning as well and more than worthy of any cellar!
The beautiful 2020 collection of Peter Lauer
was reviwed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 57 (July 2021).
You are a subscriber and miss this Issue? Simply send us a request by email and we will be happy to send you a copy.
You are not yet a subscriber and wish to get this Issue? Subscribe free of charge by registering yourself here below and ask us for a copy by email.
Ayler Lambertskirch Riesling Kabinett
The 2020er Lambertskirch Kabinett, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, was made from fruit harvested at 82° Oechsle in this steep, south-east facing Lieu-Dit overseeing the Saar, and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (46 g/l). It offers a most compelling and exquisitely herbal nose of chamomile, sage, lime tree, fine spices, mint leaf, orange blossom, and grapefruit zest. The wine proves intensely playful and packed into zesty flavors of herbs on the energetic and multi-layered palate and leaves a stunning feel of mouthwatering freshness with plenty of spices and salty elements in the gorgeously precise and focused finish. This is magnificent Kabinett in the making! 2028-2045 2030-2050
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.