From: Mosel, Germany
Taste: Bone-dry, earthy, elegant, and ultimately mineral; like Asian pears eaten in spring rain while you're loving those nostalgic petrichor smells bounce off the PNW concrete after an unusually warm spring. This Pet-Nat will make you wanna party and have a civilized cocktail party all at once.
About the producer. Erich Weber's Hofgut Falkenstein embodies much that we love about our favorite German wines. There is the meticulous, hands-on farming. There is the love of nature and a strong non-interventionist spirit. There is the deep respect for tradition. There is the great terroir of the Saar.
For years, Falkenstein's wines could not easily be purchased here in the United States, as the winery—with only 8 hectares' worth of wine to sell—only sold directly to consumers. A few years ago, however, they started working with importers here in the U.S., and many of us fell in love with the wines right away. Falkenstein's fame grew so quickly that the estate now belongs to a tiny group of elite German producers whose wines are subject to strict allocations.
There are lots of interesting details about Falkenstein, and not much space here, so I'll just focus on a couple. Falkenstein is one of the few producers we know that does everything in barrel. The wines ferment in barrel and then just stay there for their elevage. This is a winery with no tanks. It's how the ancients did it, and it works.
All of this, along with the Saar's geology and climate, help Eric produce wines that are feather light, yet deeply concentrated with a distinctly mineral quality and trademark Saar acidity. This being Germany, the bulk of what the estate produces is Riesling and they are amongst our top picks.
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