Notes from Lars Carlberg:
"Erich Weber of Hofgut Falkenstein makes ultra-traditional, dry-tasting Saar Rieslings. He likes to call himself “Winzer Weber.” (Winzer is German for winegrower.) In other words, the emphasis is on the work in his vineyards, where he spends most of his days. With his tan and rugged face, he looks the part, too. Since his middle son, Johannes, has joined him full-time, there has been more of a focus on Rieslings with residual sugar. In recent years, their wines have also caught the attention of critics, both in and outside Germany.
Erich and Johannes let ambient yeasts ferment the musts in old oak casks in a deep, cool, and damp cellar with moldy stone walls, and most of the wines end up either naturally dry (trocken) or off-dry (feinherb). Hofgut Falkenstein, therefore, is one of the rare Saar producers that specializes in distinctive, bracing, light, dry or dry-tasting Rieslings, bottled traditionally by the cask. The bone-dry Rieslings are brisk. All the wines have a ripe, racy, and well-integrated acidity from low yields and old vines. The key is a good grape.
The AP numbers (with the bottling or batch number in a large, bold print) specify the exact cask, or Fass, which, for the most part, is nicknamed after the former owner of a given parcel; a few casks are named after old site names or place names, such as Auf dem Hölzchen—which, like Ober Schäfershaus, is in the prime Silberberg sector of “Crettnacherberg”—or Im Kleinschock, marked as “Schock” on Clotten’s 1868 “Viticultural Map of the Saar and Mosel.” Depending on the size of the parcel and the yield of the vintage, some casks are from two or more parcels in a given sector, which the Webers harvest en bloc, or all at one time. There needs to be enough for one press load. Most of the wines come from old vines."