Horst Sauer, Escherndorfer Lump 2012

IMG_2688So it has been a while since I talked about Franken. At the time I only really focused on two estates to show what the region’s producers could do with Spatburgunder and Silvaner, but that does not mean that you cannot find terrific Riesling here as well. Horst Sauer is generally considered one of the best-known winemakers of the region.Horst and his daughter Sandra have received numerous awards for their wines, in particular for what they produce in sweet. Starting this weekend there will be a lot more talk about sweet wines so for today I will continue focusing on dry wines with the Escherndorfer Lump Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2012.

The name is quite a mouthful, which is often the case with German wines coming from famous vineyards, so lets dissect it in search of some clarity. Escherndorf is the name of the village, and Lump refers to the Lage (like a climat in Burgundy) wherein the vineyard is located. The curve of the river combined with the steep slopes give it the shape of a parabolic mirror, retaining heat and shielding the vines from cold. Riesling should be pretty obvious by now I hope! Kabinett may be familiar to winelovers, and is a term out of the German wine legislation. It means that the wine is made with a specific minimum must weight (an indication of the sugars present in the grapes) and without the addition of sugars before fermentation to increase the alcohol level (chaptilization). Kabinett wines tend to be seen as light and sweet, often with only 8 to 9 degrees of alcohol, unless the alcoholic fermentation is allowed to run its full course, ending up with a dry wine, Trocken.

The wine shows a lovely intensity on the nose, floral but pure, very springtime actually. There is an almost saline-like minerality that packs a punch in the mouth, but an explosion of fruit keeps the palate in balance. It comes across very clean, sunshine fruit without being too exuberant or overbearing, thirst-quenching but structured. It really is exemplary of the overall Sauer style, offering varying layers of depth while not losing clarity and most of all purity in the core. For an entry-level wine this is terrific and promising for the Lage wines, which are unfortunately only produced in minute quantities and sold out quickly. Nonetheless, this is really a wine that makes you want to go back and just stock up on whatever you can get your hands on!

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