The region is Saar, the village is Ayl, the vineyard Kupp, and the producer Helmut Plunien, all part of the revival of this cool, historic winemaking area. The acidity in this classic, pure expression of Riesling is razor-sharp, cutting through the subtly weighty sweetness and lime zest, smoke aromas. Perfect combination of delicacy and roundness that’s only found in Kabinett Riesling.
Helmut Plunien, a genial and unpretentious guy you like immediately, calls his cellar philosophy “concentrated doing-nothing.” He’d rather not fine or filter and will avoid doing so if at all possible. The wines are spontaneously fermented, done partly in fuder and partly in steel. In the vineyards, he’s close to organic, precluded both by the steepness of the terrain and the helicopter spraying. The estate is “6-something” hectares, with plans to grow “but not beyond ten.