Stylistically there are some similarities between Saalwächter and Coche: a certain density matched to a startling clarity, a specific force and definition.
Obviously it's also something of an absurdist stretch. Yet while it's meant to get your attention, it's also a very specific feeling I've had on numerous occasions, an aesthetic similarity that is there.
With Carsten Saalwächter's wines we remain in the very curious situation of wanting to express a very honest opinion and (believe it or not) not over-hype or over-sell something.
But the truth is, as we've stated before, the feeling we have tasting with Saalwächter is not unlike the feeling we had when we first tasted through the cellar at Wasenhaus. John and I looked at each other and didn't even have to say anything. We both knew.
Carsten's wines are simply extraordinary and we believe they will soon be a very big part of the conversation regarding cool-climate white wines. Who the hell really knows what the future holds, but I don't see how these wines don't become very allocated and hard-to-find. Maybe this happens next month, maybe next year, maybe in five years... but I don't see how it doesn't happen.
The Silvaner "alte Reben" is a profound wine of structure and grip; the Grauburgunder textural yet with thrust, the Weissburgunder probably the best outside of Wasenhaus - for us just another case in point that Weissburgunder can out-style many a white wine.
In short: We can't recommend these wines enough.
Carsten is farming limestone-dense soils right in the middle of the cool northern Rheinhessen - many of the sites are rather flat and wind-swept. A few of the sites even face a bit north, thus giving the wines a whip-smart and forceful acidity, more than enough to counter the pushing fruit and minerality. Especially in the rigorous 2021 vintage, these are wines of awesome structure.
As we said with the Pinot Noir offer: Every year the wines have gotten better.
As with our last offer, our advice stands: Buy as much as you can.