Riesling from the steep slopes above Germany's Saar tributary has been known for its delicacy, finesse, and sharp clarity for over 2,000 years. The region is best defined by expressions from its greatest heroes Egon Müller and Hanno Zilliken, two renowned ambassadors who have relied on ample residual sugar, but the young Florian Lauer has a very different perspective on the Saar.

Florian's departure from the Müller and Zilliken mold can be found in two main areas: His wines focus on a dry-tasting style, and the Saar's conventional "lightness of being" is traded for an unapologetic, deeply textural symphony. One with a saturating grip that calls to mind Metallica more so than Mozart.

Increasingly warmer temperatures in the Saar now allow for this dry-tasting style to excel where it where it was once teeth-chattering just a couple of decades ago. Kupp is the greatest vineyard of Ayl, and here, 70-year-old un-grafted vines are tapped for a wine whose name comes from a special portion of the vineyard that Florian's grandfather was enamored with.

I've lost count of the number of times Lauer has been poured for someone not particularly fond of Riesling only to have them change their tune immediately. Florian's wines have a way of flipping preconceived notions upside down in a flash. They are radical yet engage us all with their purity, detail, and site-specificity.

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