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Rudi Pichler Wosendorfer Kirchweg Riesling Smaragd 2021

ID No: 449415
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 96 Points
Country:Austria
Region:Wachau
Winery:Rudi Pichler
Grape Type:Riesling
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2021
Product Description

Wachau Riesling is dry and often defined by high levels of dry extract (due to a lengthy ripening period) and a pleasing freshness (due to dramatic temperature swings between day and night). Sedimentary soils of sand and stone give Kirchweg Riesling a dense mineral texture and fine fruity flavors.


Review:

I love the deep and delicate, peachy nose of this extremely attractive Wachau dry riesling. Wonderful fresh fruit with a touch of mint and lemon balm on the ripe but rather sleek and very precise palate. The power and concentration show themselves first at the stunningly long and pristine finish.

-James Suckling 96 Points

Winery: Rudi Pichler

Rudi Pichler is among the elite growers of the Wachau producing wines of precision, power, and longevity. The cellar is based in the village of Wösendorf where generations of Pichlers have tended vines since 1731. Rudolph Pichler, III took over the winery in 1997 and has since expanded the vineyards and constructed a modern cellar in 2004. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling make up 95% of the production with the remaining 5% shared between Weißburgunder and Roter Veltliner. Rudi Pichler belongs to the prestigious Vinea Wachau and vinifies under the strict parameters of their codex. He was awarded Falstaff’s Vintner of the Year in 2010. 


Weingut Rudi Pichler consists of 37 acres spread between Wösendorf, Joching, Weißenkirchen, and Mautern. Wösendorf and Joching lie in the heart of the Wachau Valley where south-facing terraces look down at the Danube River. Here, rieden such as Kirchweg, Hochrain, and Kollmütz are marked by occasional deposits of loess over base rock. Rudi produces crystal-clear expressions of Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, and Weißburgunder from these sites. Directly east of Joching is Weißenkirchen, home to the famous rieden of Steinriegl and Achleithen, two distinctive Riesling sites with calcareous and weathered gneiss, respectively. Rudi also maintains a small vineyard of Roter Veltliner across the river in Mautern.

“I’m a wine caretaker not a winemaker,” is Rudi’s credo, placing the intensity of work in the vineyards at the foundation of his philosophy. Rudi wants vineyard and varietal expression to be as clear as possible so yields are kept low between 30 and 35 hectoliters per hectare with harvest and botrytis carefully removed by hand. Grapes are crushed by foot and receive between three and 36 hours of maceration on the skins depending on the vintage and style. “The skin has information about the specific place where it is from,” says Rudi. Vinification is entirely in stainless-steel tanks and malolactic fermentation is avoided. The resulting wines are pure, dense, and taut with energy.


 


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Rudi Pichler Kollmutz Smaragd Gruner Veltliner 2021

Rudi Pichler Kollmutz Smaragd Gruner Veltliner is made from 100 percent Gruner Veltliner. 

Rudi Pichler is among the elite growers of the Wachau producing wines of precision, power, and longevity. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling make up 95% of the production with the remaining 5% shared between Weißburgunder and Roter Veltliner. Rudi Pichler belongs to the prestigious Vinea Wachau and vinifies under the strict parameters of their codex.

Yields are kept low between 30 and 35 hectoliters per hectare with botrytis carefully removed by hand.  Grapes are crushed by foot and receive between three and 36 hours of maceration on the skins. Vinification is entirely in stainless-steel tanks and malolactic fermentation is avoided.

Kollmütz is a terraced vineyard in Wösendorf sitting between 200 and 400 meters of elevation. The soils of Kollmütz developed from an ancient landslide resulting in chaotic layers of rock and boulders. The vineyard is particularly rich in magnesium and iron. Wines from Kollmütz are typically linear, dense, and intensely mineral in character.

Grüner Veltliner is the signature grape of Austria and produces a dry white wine with savory aromas, spicy flavors, and good acidity. Grüner Veltliner Smaragd from the Wachau is a full-bodied wine and is rich in style with notes of stone fruit, lemon, radish, and arugula.


Review:

Grüner Veltliner’s bright acidity and savory character make it an ideal partner to mildly spiced Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese flavors. Fish and shellfish are accented by Grüner Veltliner’s citrus and mineral profile while its acidity cuts the richness of pork or ham. It can also work well with foods that are difficult to pair such as bitter greens and asparagus.

Incredibly deep and youthful nose of the most amazing herb garden you can imagine! So richly textured, concentrated and incredibly precise that you wonder which way to turn! The incredibly long and invigorating finish leaves you literally breathless. Enormous aging potential.

-James Suckling 98 Points

 98 Points
Weingut Prager Achleiten Riesling Smaragd 2020

Weingut Prager Achleiten Riesling Smaragd is made from 100 percent Riesling. 


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 a 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.

Achleiten sits east of Weißenkirchen and is one of the most famous vineyards in the Wachau. The steeply-terraced vineyard existed in Roman times. Some sections have just 40 cm of topsoil over the bedrock of Gföler Gneiss, amphibolitic stone, and slate. “Destroyed soil,” as Toni Bodenstein likes to say.


Tasting Notes:

Austrian Riesling is often defined by elevated levels of dry extract thanks to a lengthy ripening period and freshness due to dramatic temperature swings between day and night. Wines from Achleiten’s highly complex soils are famously marked by a mineral note of flint or gun smoke, are intensely flavored, and reliably long-lived.


Food Pairing:

Riesling’s high acidity makes it one of the most versatile wines at the table. Riesling can be used to cut the fattiness of foods such as pork or sausages and can tame some saltiness. Conversely, it can highlight foods such as fish or vegetables in the same way a squeeze of lemon or a vinaigrette might.

Review:

The 2020 Ried Achleiten Riesling Smaragd offers a well-concentrated, fleshy and spicy stone fruit aroma with crunchy and flinty notes. It needs some time to get rid of the stewed fruit flavors, though. Full-bodied, fresh and crystalline, this is an elegant, complex and finely tannic Riesling that needs some years rather than a carafe to polymerize the tannins and gain some finesse. Tasted at the domain 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 94 Points

Light yellow-green, silver reflections. Yellow stone fruit nuances with a mineral underlay, notes of peach and mango, a hint of tangerine zest, mineral touch. Juicy, elegant, white fruit, acidity structure rich in finesse, lemony-salty finish, sure aging potential.

-Falstaff 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 94 95 Points
Weingut Prager Klaus Riesling Smaragd 2020


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.

Klaus sits adjacent to Achleiten and is one of the Wachau’s most famous vineyards for Riesling. The vineyard is incredibly steep with a gradient of 77% at its steepest point. The southeast-facing terraced vineyard of dark migmatite-amphibolite and paragneiss produces a tightly wound and powerful wine. The parcel belonging to Toni Bodenstein was planted in 1952. 


Tasting Notes:

Austrian Riesling is often defined by elevated levels of dry extract thanks to a lengthy ripening period and freshness due to dramatic temperature swings between day and night. “Klaus is not a charming Riesling,” says Toni Bodenstein with a wink. Klaus is Prager’s most assertive and robust Riesling. 


Food Pairing

Riesling’s high acidity makes it one of the most versatile wines at the table. Riesling can be used to cut the fattiness of foods such as pork or sausages and can tame some saltiness. Conversely, it can highlight foods such as fish or vegetables in the same way a squeeze of lemon or a vinaigrette might.

Review:


The 2020 Ried Klaus Riesling Smaragd is deep, pure and coolish on the nose, very complex, refined and flinty. Silky, refined and elegant on the palate, this is a juicy-piquant as well as crystalline and salty, very complex and persistent Klaus of great class and style with fine tannins, stimulating bitters and firm structure. A great wine. Tasted 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
Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Alte Reben Riesling Grosses Gewachs 2021

Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Alte Reben Riesling Grosses Gewachs is made from 100 percent Riesling. 

Aromatically the wine has lifting scents of lemon and lime zest, white peaches, and fresh summer herbs. On the palate the wine is a touch more full bodied with flavors of white chalk minerality as well peaches and cream.

Review:

Loosen's 2021 Erdener Treppchen GG Alte Reben is remarkably refined on the nose that exhibits a delicate and flinty-scented bright stone fruit and Riesling aroma. The palate is round and playful, almost silky and very elegant, leading to an intense and sustainably saline and tangy finish with fine grip and good tension. Surely one of the highlights in Erni Loosen's 2021 GG series. 12.5% alcohol. Tasted as a sample at the domaine in July 2022. To be bottled in October.

-Wine Advocate 94-96 Points

 Wine Advocate: 96
Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Kabinett 2021

Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Kabinett is 100 percent Riesling.

Kesten is a small village right by the Mosel surrounded by steep vineyards called Paulinsberg (=hills of Saint Paul). The vines grow on bridle clay slate near the river - a classic terroir that has been cultivated with vines ever since Roman times. Riesling is the most typical grape of the Mosel region that produced a fruity Kabinett with beautiful peach aromas on the nose, rich and ripe fruits on the mouth with honeyed notes and a refreshing acidity.  This is a very pleasing wine.

They meticulously tend 4.5 ha (11.11 acres) of which 80% is Riesling. The soil is made of slate. Their vineyards are located in Kesten and Brauneberg, on a steep terrace, and planted to 50-year old vines. Fortunately for Bastgen, they own part of the famous Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr. The vines produce very small, ripe berries that are very tasty.


The grapes are strongly selected, only minimal amounts of botrytis are tolerated. At time of the harvest the grapes are fully ripened with a golden color and tart acidity. After a natural sedimentation process the fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks under cool conditions. The wine remains on the lees until April, then is gently filtered once, and bottled.



Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Spatlese 2021

Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Spatlese is 100 percent Riesling. 

Yellow color with green highlights.
Beautiful peach aromas on the nose, rich and ripe fruits on the mouth with a refreshing acidity and honey notes. A very pleasing wine.

They meticulously tend 4.5 ha (11.11 acres) of which 80% is Riesling. The soil is made of slate. Their vineyards are located in Kesten and Brauneberg, on a steep terrace, and planted to 50-year old vines. Fortunately for Bastgen, they own part of the famous Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr. The vines produce very small, ripe berries that are very tasty.


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