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Peter Lauer, Riesling Schonfels Kabinett, 2021


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A group of us stood at the top of the steepest vineyard I had yet seen and discussed the magic of this once-forgotten, newly revived site. The Schonfels was a dramatic south-facing drop of single stake vines, covered in tight cylindrical clusters of green Riesling bunches. But a few years earlier it had been completely obfuscated by brush and trees. Florian Lauer had undertaken the painstaking work of reviving what many consider his greatest vineyard. While the Saar has been famous for its indescribable wines of purity, levity, minerality, bordering on (sometimes toppling into) austerity for centuries, the last few decades have not been so kind to it. Everyone knows its most famous duo, Egon Muller and his Scharzofberger. But beyond that exception, the meager living earned for such back-breaking labor had led to an exodus of its people and abandoned sites, like the Schonfels. Every vintage has been better than the last, as the vines are tended to more carefully, and Florian dials in his process. 2021 is no different. In a year for Kabinett, you will not believe how complete and balanced these are.


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The Saar is our kind of region: cold and mineral-rich but with sun that makes Rieslings as succulent as they are perfectly seasoned with salt and racy acidity.

Peter Lauer makes some of our very favorite Saar wines. It's a bit hard to pin down exactly how Peter Lauer fits into today's Riesling zeitgeist. He's best known for his forward-leaning dry wines.

But he's not just a trippy natural grower. He's a neighbor of the great Egon Müller, and while their wines are oceans apart they share so many affinities, starting with a love for German tradition, terroir-specificity, and brilliance in Riesling. The Lauer wines are often described as drier, which is true as far as it goes; but even his driest wines have fruit and their own sort of decadence. They certainly have the Saar purity we love.

Probably, we just have to accept that there are multiple ways to express the greatness of the Saar.


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    Medium Bodied

German Wines

Is there a better grape than Riesling? Is there a better value? Its fruit purity, its perfume, and its mineral nuance are all unparalleled. And for centuries, the top German Rieslings were priced accordingly: at least as expensive as the top red wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. But nowadays you could spend a lifetime exploring Germany’s great Riesling-producing regions while staying well within your budget. You might take an occasional break to try Germany’s other white grapes or perhaps a glass of Spätburgunder (the local name for Pinot Noir). It’s time to get started!

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