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Argot Simpatico Ranch Chardonnay 2019

Argot Simpatico Ranch Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Powerful aromas of key-lime, white flowers, orange blossoms and a fierce, flinty, sauvage note define a wildly complex nose. Once in the mouth, gracefully pronounced textures coat the palate delivering an exotic interpretation of cool-climate Chardonnay character — lime peel, orange blossom, ginger and clove —lingerings deep into a vibrant finish.

Planted 1978. Shallow volcanic soils on the gently-sloped, south-facing foothills of Bennett Peak on Bennett Valley’s floor. One of California’s coolest Chardonnay vineyards. In the final year of 3-year draught cycle, Simpatico Ranch saw its earliest ever harvest and smallest crop, exposing a reserve of exoticism and minerality previously untapped. A watershed vintage for both the vineyard, and appellation. Night harvested by hand on 9/16, whole-cluster pressed direct to barrel; no settling to ensure maximum lees contact. Barrel fermented on heavy lees. Malolactic fermentation. 16 months in French oak, 50% new. Finished 2 months in steel tank, low Sulphur during barrel elevage.

Review:


There are 225 cases of the 2019 Chardonnay Simpatico Ranch, which is from a cooler, higher elevation site in Sonoma. Lots of peach, tangerine, honeyed minerality, and toasted hazelnuts all emerge from the glass, and while I don't think it matches the 2018, it's a brilliant Chardonnay offering medium to full-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish. It's beautifully balanced and is going to keep for at least 5-7 years."

- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2021), 94 pts

 94 Points
Argot Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville 2019

Argot Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.


Hailing from the historic Bonny’s Vineyard in the heart of Oakville. Cabernet Sauvignon vines thrive in the gravel rich soils here adjacent to the Napa River riverbed. Roots plumb deep into the valley floor, while vine canopies harvest Napa Valley’s plethora of summer sunshine. These conditions conspire to deliver unerringly perfect Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Pouring a deep opaque red-violet, 1555’s Cabernet personality leaps from the glass balancing opulent fruit, damp earth, chilling minerality and an alluring spice note that keeps pulling us back for more. Exquisitely ripe tannins provide a refined, velvety structure, delivering the deep and seductively rich palate. The pedigree displayed in the glass is undeniable.


Review:

"Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville wafts sensuously out of the glass with redcurrant jelly, black raspberries and rose oil scents, followed by a cassis and black plums core, with emerging suggestions of cinnamon toast, cedar and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate is fantastically fragrant, delivering red and black fruit layers accented by floral and exotic spice nuances, supported by super ripe, velvety tannins, finishing long and perfumed. 250 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 95+ pts

 Wine Advocate: 95
Argot Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Vineyard 2019

Argot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Vineyard is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Sugarloaf’s terroir continues to impress with its expression of classically-styled Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons — impeccably pure black and red fruit character; broad, rich, perfectly ripe tannins; classic Napa Valley notes of cigar leaf, eucalyptus, and freshly-tilled earth; and definitive complexities of clove, all-spice and bay leaf. Having assessed past vintages with a few years of age, we have come to greatly value the significant reward Sugarloaf delivers after a few years in the cellar.


From Block 6, an acre of fiercely steep, ferociously rocky hillside, located in Napa’s far south-eastern foothills, deeply affected by the cooling influences of San Pablo Bay. One of the latest harvests in all of Napa Valley each vintage. Mother Nature was kind to this site in 2019, being our most bountiful year here ever. With perfect set, and vines displaying great health, this normally stingy hillside delivered superlative quality, without restraint of yield. After a slow start in the Spring, 2019’s particularly warm September and October played beautifully to the vineyard’s strengths, and delivered a classic Halloween-time harvest.

Review:

"It is not often that you see a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from this rising star, cooler-climate vineyard in south Napa. This wine comes exclusively from the low-yielding, steep, rocky "Block 6." Deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Vineyard needs a little coaxing to reveal wonderfully pure scents of blackcurrant cordial, juicy blueberries and ripe blackberries, plus suggestions of iris bulb, dark chocolate, molten licorice and cedar chest. The big, rich, seductive, full-on full-bodied palate is laden with ripe, energetic black berry layers, framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed. A stunning, true-blue Napa blockbuster with its own very evocative signature, this comes highly recommended! 175 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 97+ pts

 Wine Advocate: 97
Argot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Sage Ridge Vineyard 2019


A dramatic, ridgetop landscape — rising 1500 feet above Lake Hennessey, staring west over Pritchard Hill — persistently influenced by a push/pull draw between The Valley’s floor and Lake Berryessa. This wild, untamed, eastern frontier of Napa Valley, produces singular, terroir-driven wines of captivating beauty, power and lift. An unseasonably wet and cool springtime produced significant shatter at Sage Ridge in 2019, reducing our yields by 50%, leading to a particularly flamboyant edition of this wine.

An incomparable expression of Cabernet Sauvignon — massively pure red fruit character, delivered on a ribbon of ultra-suave tannins and gorgeously seductive high tones. The palate never relents its come-hither posture. Aromatically, puts forth an intriguing botanical complexity that is unmistakably site-specific. As our experience with this one-of-a-kind terroir deepens, we remain endlessly excited for the potential of these unique ridgetop vineyards. Get your hands on a bottle and pull the cork…a wine built for immense near-term gratification.


Review:

"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Sage Ridge Vineyard opens with open-knit notes of plum preserves, baked blackberries and boysenberry jam, leading to a core of crème de cassis, mocha, camphor and Indian spices with a touch of unsmoked cigars. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and dense with black fruit preserves, framed by soft tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and very spicy. Only 75 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 95 pts

 Wine Advocate: 95
Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2019

Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville is made from 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot.

This Cabernet Sauvignon was produced primarily from grapes sourced from Oakville Ranch Vineyard, sitting at 1,000 to 1,400 feet above sea level with a westward aspect overlooking Napa Valley. The vineyard was replanted in 2006 by esteemed organic viticulturist Phil Coturri, and is fast gaining a reputation for producing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. The rocky clay, loam and basalt soils have a heavy iron influence providing structure, power and depth. Cabernet Sauvignon lots fermented separately from two other vineyards that reside in alluvial soils along the Oakville foothills were blended in to add expressive fruit character and lush tannins.


This blend of our generous and supple Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon is dominated by Oakville Ranch Vineyard. Located in the hills among famous neighbors Dalla Valle, Pedregal and Backus vineyards, Oakville Ranch produces powerful, rich, structured wines. Cabernet Sauvignon wines made from two other vineyards along Skellenger Lane were blended in to add expressive fruit character and lush tannins. Each component of this blend spent four weeks fermenting on skins to ensure that the tannins and fruit flavors were balanced. The resulting wine is rich and vibrant, offering vivid flavors of blackberry, raspberry, cassis and mocha.


Sojourn Chardonnay Sangiacomo Vineyard 2019

Sojourn Chardonnay Sangiacomo Vineyard is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 

The core of Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay is from the same vineyard source as the highly-acclaimed Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot noir wines. This wine features a combination of Clone 95 Chardonnay from Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard and Old Wente Clone from Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. The Roberts Road block, planted in 1998, provides minerality and vibrancy. The Old Wente Clone selection is known to produce distinctively small clusters, low yields, and results in elegant, complex wines that round out this blend. These ranches are perfectly suited for growing Chardonnay, with cool climates and well-draining soils.

Sojour Chardonnay is fresh and lively, fruit-forward with bright acidity, stone fruit, citrus and apple flavors that leave your mouth watering.


Samuel Lindsay The Gandy Dancer 2019

Samuel Lindsay The Gandy Dancer is made from 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot.

With its deep ruby color and aromas of ripe fruit, the early senses offer comforts of a quintessential California Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine opens with a subtle yet surprising coastal structure, with notes of cooking herbs, violets, and mocha. The tannins begin to dance with pops of anise, black cherry and aged leather, and the finish is decadent, balanced and lasting. Pairs well with a hard day of work.

85% of the grapes are coming from Lodi, 12.75% from Napa and the remaining 2.25% from Mendocino.

Review:


"Deep, dark color. earthy nose, rich and dense with smooth texture and ripe plum fruit, tangy balanced and complex, long, lush and likable."

- Anthony Dias Blue, 91 pts


 91 Points
Amarose Rose 2021

Amarose Rose  is made from 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Carignan and 25% Mourvedre.

Delicate floral aromas greet the nose, and juicy summer fruits burst on the palate. Lush notes of raspberries, strawberries, and crisp apples bloom and delight the senses. Bright and refreshing, this Provence-style rosé has a balanced finish that leaves you wanting more.

Review:


"A pale pink blend of Rhône varieties. Clean, fresh, dry, with lively style;
smooth, deep, and tangy.”

- The Tasting Panel (2022), 91 pts





 91 Points
Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2019

Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Russian River Valley is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

A vibrant blend derived from our revered vineyards that are defined by the region's cooling fog and warm afternoon sunshine reveals a pale straw color in the glass and aromas of white florals, ground ginger, and Mandarin orange. Golden Delicious apple and Meyer lemon give way to complex flavors of baking spice and piecrust that add a round texture to accompany its bright acidity, framing the long finish.


Review:
 
The barrel sample of 2019 Chardonnay is exuberant with baked apples and guava aromas loaded with honeyed undertones. The medium-bodied palate is rounded and very fresh, its gregarious fruits lifted by juicy acidity that carries the long finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92-94 Points

Leading off the Chardonnay from Paul Hobbs, the 2019 Chardonnay Russian River Valley reveals a light gold hue as well as a classic, cleanly perfumed bouquet of honeyed citrus, crushed stone, white flowers, and brioche, with just a hint of toasted almond emerging with time in the glass. Medium-bodied, fresh, and lively on the palate, it gains more and more minerality as it sits in the glass. It’s flawlessly balanced, with an incredible mix of rich, ripe fruit and racy, bright acidity as well as outstanding length. This white is well worth searching out, and I would rank it with one of the top, base appellation blends in the vintage.
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points


An inviting nose of warm citrus, toasted herbs and brown butter. Medium-to full-bodied with a lovely vanilla and cream through-line that brings charm to the palate. Minerality adds layers of complexity and zip, along with some white-pepper spice. Drink or hold.
James Suckling 94 Points




 Wine Advocate: 94 94 Points
Torello Corpinnat Finca Can Marti Brut 2016

Torello Corpinnat Finca Can Marti Brut 32% Chardonnay, 32% Xarel.lo, 22% Macabeo and 14% Parellada.

The Can Martí estate soils have been formed from sediments from the Garraf Massis, deposited thousands of years ago. One of the most characteristic features of the estate’s soils is the presence of accumulations of calcium carbonate.The movement of water through the soil dissolves the carbonates present and takes them to a certain depth. The continuous repetition of this process has ended up producing the accumulation of these deposits.When these become massive, after thousands of years, they bind together and and form a hard stratum called a petrocalcic horizon. This hard stratum limits the availbility of water to the vine and the production, but is a factor that gives the grape quality.

Straw yellow color, fine and constant bubbles, clean and bright, with golden reflections. The nose reveals a subtle aromatic intensity with fresh and sweet aromas. Honey flowers, citrus notes, white fruit, and balsamic herbs such as fennel.

In the mouth the acidity is well balanced, with delicate bitter notes to the finish and a set of ripe fruits and balsamic nuances.


Salette Cotes de Gascogne Blanc 2021

Salette Cotes de Gascogne Blanc is made from 80% Colombard, 10% Ugni Blanc and 10% Gros Manseng. 
Fresh, clean and lively with intense exotic fruit aromas. Crisp, clean and zesty in the mouth, it offers delicate flavors of citrus fruit and grapefruit, and a long lingering finish.
Enjoy as an aperitif or with grilled fish, shellfish and appetizers.


Croix Senaillet Macon-Davaye 2020

Croix Senaillet Macon-Davaye is 100 percent Chardonnay.

Pale brilliant yellow color. Fresh nose of citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit). Mineral and salty notes on the palate. Fresh, supple and harmonious in the mouth.

Produced from 7 different parcels of vines spread over 3.77 hectares, planted on clay and limestone based soils. Average age of the vine is 28 years. Careful vinification. Minimal intervention in the vinification process. Modern equipment (pneumatic press, thermo-regulated tanks). Each parcel is harvested at full maturity. Destemming, slow press, slow fermentation, malolactic fermentation, aging on the lees.

Excellent as an aperitif and pairs well with grilled fish and Asian food.

 

Torello Corpinnat Special Edition Brut Reserve 2016

Torello Corpinnat Special Edition Brut Reserve is made from 44% Xarel.lo, 37% Macabeo, 11% Chardonnay, 8% Parellada.


The estate soils have been formed from sediments from the Garraf Massis, deposited thousands of years ago. One of the most characteristic features of the estate’s soils is the presence of accumulations of calcium carbonate. The movement of water through the soil dissolves the carbonates and takes them to a certain depth. The continuous repetition of this process has ended up producing the accumulation of these deposits. When these become massive, after thousands of years, they bind together and form a hard stratum called a petrocalcic horizon. This hard stratum limits the availability of water to the vine and the production, but is a factor that gives the grape quality

The wine offers a straw yellow color, clean, transparent, fine, and persistent bubbles with a rosary formation. In the nose fresh pear aromas stand out along with delicious notes of pastry cream, white flowers, and candied fruits. On the palate, good balance and acidity. Powerful and flavorful with white flowers and notes of brioche, almond and great length.

Special Edition is very versatile and matches with many different kinds of dishes; pasta, pork, chicken, fish, seafood, rice, cold cuts, desserts.

Gundian Albarino 2021

Gundián is a local surname & the name of several Galician villages (3 in the area) as well as a famous bridge in Galicia - thus the bridge graphic on the label. The Gundián Bridge, also known as the Gundián Viaduct, is a bridge that spans the Ulla river pass, on the old railway line between Orense and Santiago de Compostela.

Clean and bright wine, straw yellow color with greenish flashes. On the nose, it has fruity and floral aromas of high intensity, especially apple and stone fruits (apricot). In the mouth, the freshness and youth of the Albariño stand out with a well balanced acidity which makes it savory, sweet and glyceric.


Keermont White Blend Terrasse 2020

Keermont White Blend is made from 39% Chenin Blanc (34% Riverside parcel - 26% Low Road Parcel and 5% Bobbejaan parcel), 34% Sauvignon Blanc (Uitkyk parcel), 14% Viognier (Cottage Lane parcel) and 13% Chardonnay (Low Road Parcel).

The Keermont Terrasse white blend derives its name from the terraced vineyards on Keermont. The backbone of this blend is Chenin Blanc from a 48 year old un-irrigated vineyard called 'Riverside' and this is complimented by Chenin from two younger vineyards and varying fractions of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.

A polished light yellow gold color, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavors evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavor.



Keermont Syrah 2016

This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices with some herbal and lavender notes. The palate is full and juicy, packed with ripe fruit and spice. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent finish with lingering flavours of anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2013-2023.


Review:


"The 2016 Syrah has a mellow, warm, inviting bouquet of red cherries, crushed strawberry, star anise and orange liqueur scents. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, quite fleshy and satin-like in texture, though it decides not to exert too much grip on the finish. This is drinking perfectly now and should continue to do so for the next 10–12 years. - Neal Martin"


- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91
Maltus Lalande de Pomerol 2018

 

Maltus Lalande de Pomerol is made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.


This is the newest project from Nicolas Lassagne (Chateau des Landes). 
He acquired this 2.5 ha (6.17 acres) parcel in 2015.

Beautiful sustained deep purple color
The Bouquet is rich, generous, complex and reveals notes of black fruits.
The palate is round and powerful with some good integrated tannins. The finish is long and structured.

Origin of the name: 
History tells us that the origin of the Château Maltus goes back to the Middle Ages, in the time of the crusades. The Order of Malt, well implanted on the land named Lalande de Pomerol, cultivated for the first time vines on the grounds of the Château Maltus.

 

Review:


"The history of this estate goes back to the Middle Ages and the Knights of Malta. This dense, black wine is solid with tannins and concentration. With its structure, it will age. Drink from 2024. - Roger VOSS"

 - Wine Enthusiast (February/March 2022), 91 pts

"A juicy, ripe red with blackberry and chocolate character. Full body. Dense, layered finish."

- James Suckling, 91-92 PTS


 Wine Enthusiast: 91 91 Points
Lismore Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Lismore Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc is made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc.

As with all Lismore wines, balance is the key. The bracing acidity that is customary in new world Sauvignons has been brought into balance with a carefully chosen pick date and the barrel and egg fermentation and maturation. A full bodied, balanced wine was the goal.

Barrel fermentation and extended lees contact contribute to this full bodied, elegant and well balanced wine. Floral notes of passion flower and fynbos, granadilla, guava, gooseberry and pear on the palate along with an underlying minerality which gives this unique terroir driven wine its signature.

Wine Made in the Soil

The grapes come from 50% Lismore’s Greyton vineyards which are planted on East/Southeast facing slopes at 320 meters in the foothills of the Sonderend Mountain Range. The soils are deep decomposed shale. The other 50% comes from a vineyard in Stanford which overlooks Walker Bay on sandstone soils.

 


Reviews:


"The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Fermented was from donated Stellenbosch, Helderberg, Elgin fruit and a little from Greyton (thus WO Western Cape). This was made in a similar style, oxidatively in barrels, at Almenkerk but obviously has a very different terroir expression than the usual Cape South Coast fruit. The fresh, saline, sea-spray-scented bouquet gradually unfurls with aeration in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a grassy, white asparagus and ginger-tinged opening, crisp acidity and a racy but composed finish where you would be hard pressed to detect the barrel ferment, it is so discreet. Superb. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 92 pts


"Made with a combination of 30% Greyton grapes and parcels donated by friends and colleagues after the fire at Lismore in 2019, this Western Cape Sauvignon Blanc has subtle wood top notes, taut, herbal grapefruit and wet stone flavours and a nip of skin tannins. 2021-24"

- Tim Atkin, South Africa Report 2021, 92 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 92 Points
Lismore Chardonnay 2020

Lismore Chardonnay made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

This very special Chardonnay was made in the style of a traditional Burgundian Chablis. It shows intense citrus and soft fruit layered with brioche, honey and walnut carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.

Wine Made in the Soil

The vineyards are planted in decomposed shale over clay at 300 meters in the foothills of the Sonderend Mountain Range. A low mean February temperature lends to an extended ripening period that can put harvest 3-4 weeks later than traditional wine growing regions in South Africa. The intense citrus notes and the lingering finish are consistent trademarks of Lismore's specific terroir. The restrained minerality of the Chardonnay is a clear indication of the cool climate in which it is grown.


Wine of Origin "Greyton" has been designated by SAWIS recognizing the special terrior of this region.


Delightful with warm curries which lift the aromatics or a traditional pairing of smoked salmon highlighting the fresh acidity.


Review:


"The 2020 Chardonnay offers plenty of mango, pineapple and citrus fruit on the nose, all beautifully defined with a subtle minerally undertow. The well-balanced palate delivers orange pith and tangerine flavors, fine depth and a fresh pear and nectarine finish. Not the most complex Chardonnay that Samantha O'Keefe has ever produced, but still absolutely delicious. - Neal Martin"

  - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 90 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90
Pazo de Senorans Seleccion de Anada Albarino 2012

Pazo de Senorans Seleccion de Anada Albarino is made from 100 percent Albarino. 

Straw yellow with greenish tints, vivid and brilliant. High intensity and very expressive. Profusion of aromas with traces of mineral. Great volume and ample body leaving a lasting impression from beginning to end.

Reviews:

The bright yellow, almost fluorescent 2012 Albariño Selección de Añada has to be one of the finest released since the first vintage of 1995. It matured for more than 36 months with the lees in small stainless steel tanks and then was bottled in April 2021. It has great aromatic complexity with no oxidation whatsoever. It has notes of pine needles and dried herbs, quince paste and a hint of smoky lees and petrol. The palate is seamless and precise, with 13% alcohol, nicely integrated acidity and very good balance. It's still incredibly young. Pazo de Señorans has been great at showing the aging potential of Albariño, releasing older wines. Their current vintage of the Selección de Añada is 2012, now 10 years old, and they are slowly releasing other labels outside the rush for newly bottled wine, which they also suffer from some segments of the market.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points

Style: with personality, Color: bright straw, Aroma: white fruit, citrus, fine lees, hydrocarbon, Mouth: full, tasty, elegant, persistent

-Guia Penin 98 Points


Tech:

ALCOHOLIC STRENGTH:
13 % proof


PRODUCTION:
16.000 bottles


TYPE OF WINE:
Aged on lees


FERMENTATION:
Stainless steel


PERIOD OF AGING IN VAT:
More than 30 month on lees


ORIGINAL VINEYARD:
Los Bancales


TYPE OF PLANTATION:
Pergola system (vines)


AVERAGE AGE OF VINEYARDS:
More than 45 years


HARVESTING METHOD:
Manual


DATE OF HARVESTING:
September


YIELD PER HECTAR:
5.000 kg/ha


MACERATION:
Pellicular (in presses)


ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION:
Controlled at 18º


MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION:
No


OPTIMAL PERIOD OF CONSUMPTION:
5 years



 Wine Advocate: 95 98 Points
Weingut Prager Stockkultur Achleiten Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2020

Weingut Prager Stockkultur Achleiten Gruner Veltliner Smaragd is made from 100 percent Gruner Veltliner. 


Franz Prager, co-founder of the Vinea Wachau, had already earned a reputation for his wines when Toni Bodenstein married into the family. Bodenstein’s passion for biodiversity and old terraces, coupled with brilliant winemaking, places Prager in the highest echelon of Austrian producers.

Smaragd is a designation of ripeness for dry wines used exclusively by members of the Vinea Wachau. The wines must have minimum alcohol of 12.5%. The grapes are hand-harvested, typically in October and November, and are sent directly to press where they spontaneously ferment in stainless-steel tanks.

Stockkultur is a 0.3-hectare plot at the top of Achleiten and was purchased by Toni Bodenstein in 2005. The name refers to the old style of training each vine to a single stake; the traditional method of vine cultivation in the Wachau before the 1950s. The vines planted in 1938 are among the oldest in the Wachau. 

Tasting Notes:

Prager’s stylistic signature is that of aromatic complexity coupled with power and tension. High-density planting and long hang times ensure ripe fruit flavors and concentration, yet allowing leaves to shade the fruit lend vibrant aromatics of grasses, herbs, and wildflowers. Minerality is a constant feature of any Prager wine.

Food Pairing:

With minimum alcohol of 12.5%, Grüner Veltliner Smaragd is a concentrated and full-bodied dry white wine. Its intensity of flavor and ripeness of fruit make it ideal with high-integrity ingredients such as seared white fish or sautéed spring vegetables. Grüner Veltliner is a classic accompaniment to Wiener Schnitzel.

Review:


From vines planted in 1937 and picked as the first of the Smaragd wines, the 2020 Ried Achleiten Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Stockkultur (planted with 15,000 vines per hectare) opens with a spectacular deep and complex but refined, fresh and flinty bouquet with intense, ripe pear and biscuit aromas. On the palate, this is a dense and lush yet pure, elegant and complex, wide and powerful but also mineral Achleiten with a long, finely tannic and still sweet finish (due to more than 30 grams per liter of dry extract). Tasted at the domaine in June 2021.

At Prager, I could not determine that 2020 would be inferior to the 2019 vintage; on the contrary, the 2020 Smaragd wines fascinated me enormously in their clear, cool, terroir-tinged way. A 38% loss had occurred mainly because of the hail on August 22, although predominantly in the Federspiel or Riesling vineyards. There was no damage in the top vineyards such as Ried Klaus, Achleiten or Zwerithaler. "Interestingly, the vines are in agony for about two weeks after the hail. There was no more growth, no development of ripeness and sugar," reports Toni Bondenstein. The Veltliner then recovered earlier, while even picking a Riesling Federspiel in October was still a struggle. "Why Riesling reacted more intensively to the hail, I don't know myself either," says Bodenstein. Whole clusters were pressed to preserve acidity and to compensate for the lower extract, and compared to 2019, the 2020s were left on their lees longer. In June, however, the 20s in particular showed outstanding early shape.

-Wine Advocate 96 Points

 Wine Advocate: 96
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