Appellation = Franken
Escherndorf Am Lumpen 1655
|Limestone, Loam with red marl and loess-clay|
6% Other varietals
|Sauer Müller Thurgau Dry, Estate
Sauer Silvaner Dry, Estate
Sauer Silvaner Dry, Escherndorfer (Village)
Sauer Silvaner Dry Erste Lage, Escherndorfer Lump
Sauer Silvaner Dry GG, Escherndorf Am Lumpen 1655
Sauer Riesling Dry GG, Escherndorf Am Lumpen 1655
Sauer Silvaner Dry, "AB OVO" (Vinified in 900L Cement Egg shaped Tanks)
|75% Stainless steel / 25% Oak|
|80% Natural yeast / 20% Cultured yeast|
|Practicing Eco Friendly. 2.5ha Biodynamic in the filet portion of the Lumpen.|
At least four generations of Sauer’s have been active in viticulture. Initially they were simply selling wines in cask. In 1950 the family joined the Escherndorfer Co-op where they were primarily a source for grapes to complement the Escherndorfer wines. In 1979 Helga and Rainer started the Rainer Sauer estate and began selling estate wines under the Rainer Sauer label. They were making very good wines through 1994.
The 1995 harvest was a big turning point for the estate. The summer of 1995 was very wet. In the beginning of September rains continued and the grapes started to foul before they achieved physiological ripeness. The harvest started in October with the grapes almost ripe but the portion of foul grapes had increased from 25%-50%, all of the foul and mildew fruit was removed! The botrytis affected fruit was vinified after sedimentation of the juice and fermentation followed. The wines were bottled and at a very young stage were quite drinkable. However, after 8 – 12 months the color of the wine turned dark and developed unpleasant dull and musty components in both smell and taste. Any 1995’s still in inventory by 1997 were removed from the market. With this experience, the decision was made for a much more extreme and precise selection with all botrytised fruit removed. This late labor intensive manual harvest with several selective pickings per parcel, with careful handling of the fruit, is followed by slow controlled fermentation. This is why the Rainer Sauer wines are bright, clean, aromatic, subtle and pure, along with a wonderful expression of terroir.
Today, the estate is one of the great Silvaner producers in Franconia, or in the world! With the new system in place the 2000 vintage was the most difficult yet; it was another teaching harvest! At the beginning of harvest, the weather turned wet, rainy and humid and in the late stages of ripening the vines absorbed a lot of water. The grapes expanded, bruising neighboring fruit, a fertile breeding ground for botrytis. The development of the rot was so fast that in the last phase of the harvest the losses everyday mounted to 5% of the total every day. For the harvesters it was an extremely exhausting and laborious selection in very warm temperatures along with very high humidity. What was very unique was that every grape had to be cut through the middle. It was the only way to detect the rot since the grapes were foul from the center on the stems. There were vineyards with more grapes on the ground than in the harvest boxes. The harvest was quite small but with this extreme selection the quality was quite good. All our colleagues thought we were crazy but the quality of the wines showed that we are very crazy like a “fox”.
Today the estate is comprised of 14 ha:
The vineyards are planted:
Sauer’s top site is the Escherndorfer Lump with a pure South exposure; the soil is primarily Limestone and the slope varies from 45 % to a very steep 70 %. The Escherndorfer Fürstenberg, a portion of which is a continuation of the steep Lump; the hill rotates from a South exposure towards the East where the soil limestone. One part of the Fürstenberg is at the top of the flat-top portion of the Lump. Here the soil is also again limestone interlaced with Clayey Keuper (heavier soil). The small portion of the Untereisenheimer Sonnenberg is also limestone. The wines from the Lump compared to the Fürstenberg are more concentrated, denser and more persistent.
Helga and Rainer took charge of the estate in 1979 but also have great support from their son Daniel after completing his studies at Geisenheim in 2007. Almost 2/3 of the plantings in Sauer’s vineyards are Silvaner. Amazing Silvaner is fashioned here. A very dry Silvaner with less than 5 gm/l RS is what Rainer considers a typical wine from Franken. It is the wine that gives the region its distinctive profile.
Rainer Sauer’s wines are rich, elegant, intense, salty, mineral driven wines with great potential for aging. Careful, gentle processing of the fruit with as little intervention as possible are all part of what makes great Rainer Sauer wines.
Their son David is involved in a number of projects and evolving the estate in the direction of biodynamic farming and is slowly moving the estate in the direction of organic production, which is quite difficult in a steep vineyard like the Lump. He is producing several interesting wines such as the vom Muschelkalk (Limestone) Silvaner fermented with indigenous yeast, another trend he wants to pursue further. Also the Ab Ovo Silvaner a great, vibrant refined and pure wine fermented in an egg-shaped concrete tank of 900 l is yet another of his projects.
Rainer Sauer belongs to Frank & Frei a group of 14 estates dedicated to producing classic Franken wines.
In 2010 Rainer Sauer was invited to join the prestigious VDP group.
In the 2013 Eichelmann, one of Germany’s leading wine guides, chose The Rainer Sauer estate as the best White Wine Collection of the vintage 2011.
Rainer Sauer is a member of the VDP.
Wine Fact Sheet = WFS
Shelf Talker = ST
Tasting Notes/Press = TN/P