100 Meters and the Drama of Terroir: Grand Cru Lauer - 2014 Lauer Unterstenberg & Stirn

Posted by Joe Salamone

100 Meters and the Drama of Terroir
2014 Lauer Unterstenberg & Stirn

The Unterstenberg vineyard produces one of Lauer’s deepest, most mineral and masculine wines.

One-hundred meters upslope, the Stirn vineyard produces the near opposite: a soaring, finessed wine of incredible tension and detail.

In 2014, both are masterpieces. They are the limited, single-vineyard bottlings we wait for all year. While they are finally here, they likely won’t remain for long.

As we wrote in our last Lauer offer, when the Wine Advocate reviewer showed up at the estate to taste the 2013s, Lauer was already sold out so he tasted him on the 2014s. The critic flipped out, giving all the wines glowing reviews and high scores. The estate quickly sold out of nearly everything.

Florian Lauer visiting the tasting room at Crush

Today’s offering represents two of Lauer’s greatest wines and year-after-year staff and collector darlings. We are happy to offer both wines at sharp pricing.

If Riesling is famous for its sensitivity, in the Saar, in Florian Lauer’s hands, the grape's transparency is amplified. Tasting Unterstenberg and Stirn side by side, it's clear that there are few more dramatic articulations of terroir and contrasts between sites.

The Unterstenberg, at the bottom of the mountain, is a warmer, more protected site. It is a profoundly mineral and broad-shouldered wine. In 2014 it is essentially a dry wine, with a layered, deeply textural quality that flaunts a lacy, razor’s edge of a glorious, crystal clear acidity. This is a rock star bottling and one of the best of the vintage.

In German the word "Stirn" means forehead; this is the top part of the mountain, roughly 100 meters up a dramatic incline from the Unterstenberg. Here, in a wind-whipped, exposed vineyard with little soil, the vines struggle to ripen. The resultant wine shimmers with high-toned citrus and a saline, lime-zest minerality. Although the overall effect is off-dry, the acidity in the Stirn is always among the most dramatic and soaring of any of Lauer’s bottlings.

Florian Lauer has quickly become one of Germany’s greats. His rise has been meteoric and the profound quality that he is able to produce from the few hectares he works is riveting. These wines are unlikely to be in stock for long.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2014 Lauer Unterstenberg & Stirn