Peter Lauer's 'Senior': Unbeatable Grand Cru Wine

Germany offers some of the best values in truly great wines of terroir. And if a Grand Cru bottling for less than $25 doesn’t prove it to you, we don’t know what will.

Florian Lauer encompasses everything we love of German wines these days: a never ending pursuit of perfection, in the vineyard and the cellar, and a series of incredible Grand Cru vineyards in the coolest part of the Mosel river valley, in an area known as the Saar.

As the climate warms, the Saar — made famous by Florian's neighbor, Egon Müller, but always considered a great region — has become even greater.

The wines exemplify the ethereal epoch of Riesling, now with even more regularity thanks to a series of great vintages.
 
But even with fair pricing, there’s only so much demand for even the greatest Grand Cru Riesling in America. So, Lauer declassifies some of his renowned Kupp Grand Cru fruit and sells it as though it were mere village wine. This isn’t the young vine wines, or an inferior section of a Grand Cru vineyard, this is the real stuff: 70+ year-old, ungrafted vines.

It's declassified for one reason only: to help the wine find a happy home.
 
In 2020, weather, terroir and winemaking all came together to make this as good a “Senior” as we’ve ever seen. The third warm vintage in a row, weather patterns hit all the key marks, with heat and sun in the right phases of development, rain when needed and none of the pesky frost or sunburn problems of the previous two. So far we’ve been absolutely smitten with every 2020 Riesling we’ve tasted (okay, it’s only been a few), and no surprise here, Senior is stellar.

We have just enough of this wine to offer in the newsletter, but there is always a chance we will sell out. The good news is, more will arrive at the end of May, so if you place an order now and we oversell, we can get you your wine before summer really hits.
 
Peter Lauer Riesling “Senior”, 2020

John Gilman calls Senior “essentially a dry wine,” while Mosel Fine Wines notes that it’s, technically, just off-dry, and “slightly sweet.” Experts can disagree! But they both love the wine, find it complex, “pure” and “mineral.”