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Weingut Prager Zwerithaler Gruner Veltliner Kammergut Smaragd 2022

ID No: 450214
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 99 Points
Country:Austria
Region:Wachau
Winery:Prager
Grape Type:Gruner Veltliner
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2022
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description


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.

Zwerithaler is a sub-site of Buschenberg and sits to the east of Weißenkirchen. The name Zwerithaler, meaning "nestled between the valleys," is a near monopole of Weingut Prager. It has a complex soil of paragneiss with alternating layers of dark and calcareous rock.  Zwerithaler Kammergut is a 0.34-hectare parcel planted before WWI. The wine from these ungrafted, 100-year-old vines was bottled separately by Prager for the first time in 2015.


Light greenish yellow, silver reflections. Fine savory, delicate nuances of anise, tobacco notes, delicate yellow fruit, a touch of mango and honey blossom. Full-bodied, juicy white apple fruit, well-integrated, silky acidity structure, finesse and long persistence, saline finish, lingers for minutes, Veltliner at its best.

-Falstaff 99 Points

"The aromas of this old-vine gruner veltliner leap out and shake you to the core. Full-bodied and full of weighty and balanced layers of papayas, mangoes, nectarines, chives, white tea and oranges. Fantastic concentration, giving so much pleasure already, but it will keep blossoming if you give it time. From vines planted in 1907. Sustainable. Drink or hold." 

-James Suckling 98 Points

Winery: Prager

Thus, in the Wachau, vineyards follow vineyards – each a great soloist, together an unmistakable orchestra.


Viticulture on the edge of what is still possible

A single, artistically designed garden on the banks of the great river Danube: That is the Wachau. Weathered walls give the soil - worn down "primeval rock" - support and support. These terraces, which ubiquitously watch over the valley, act like the defensive lines of mighty fortifications.

This is where the wine of the Wachau matures: on barren soil, in the struggle with the forests, also with the cold that penetrates from the north, from Bohemia, over the hills of the Waldviertel to the Danube. Right here, on the edge of what is still possible, fine, distinctive wines of rare quality are created.

Dionysian expression of a unique landscape

Diverse contrasts in a small space, unique soil formations and a subtle microclimate characterize the “nursery” of the grapes. Wachau wine is correspondingly unmistakable.

The subtle differences between the individual vineyard sites are almost unfathomable, and their facets and nuances are enormously diverse. Whether Klaus or Achleiten, Steinriegl or Hollerin or the Riesling “Growth Bodenstein” grown at 460 meters above sea level: they all represent the Wachau and yet each location stands for itself – a uniqueness that is deeply rooted in the original.

The great thing about wine

Centuries ago, monks in the Wachau vineyards recognized quality limits and drew dividing lines. Because their striving was not only aimed at the best wine. Her passion was also the - sometimes clear, sometimes only very fine - differences between the individual sites and thus between the wines.

Whether intuition or myth, whether feeling or reality: What is certain is that a specific plant can only be pressed in a specific place at a specific time by one or more specific people. That's the great thing about wine.


From stone to wine

... that's the motto of Ilse and Toni Bodenstein. Their goal: to bring individual, unmistakable wines into the glass, which must be a reflection of their respective origin. The work in the vineyard and cellar follows traditional paths, but is supplemented with necessary and sensible innovations - always striving for the best possible quality.


Riesling and Grüner Veltliner

The special appreciation of the Prager winery belongs to the Grüner Veltliner and the Riesling. Anno 1302 - on the occasion of the first documentary mention of the building "located on the Chling in the Ritzling, belonging to the Michaelbeuern monastery, with the ship mill in pertinenz" - the origin of the Riesling here in the Wachau is suspected in the name Ritzling. 

"Riesling" comes from "to tear", from trickling through the flower. At least that is the explanation given by the ampelographers. Riesling is rightly considered the king of white wine varieties. Its late maturity and high demands on soil and climate make it an individualist. Characteristic are its elegance and finesse, its mineral play and the delicate scent of white peaches. 

The second typical regional grape variety that has been cultivated in the Prager winery for generations is Grüner Veltliner. Particularly noteworthy are the up to 60-year-old vines of this variety in the Achleiten and Zwerithaler sites. The great age of the vines gives the wine an incomparable density and a particularly pronounced minerality.

For Toni Bodenstein, the great genetic diversity of these old vines is particularly important, because hardly any of these old vines are alike. Therefore, old vine stocks represent an important genetic reserve for the future!


secret of the terroir 

Tradition and innovation are equally among the strengths of the winery. With the possibilities of modernity and the knowledge of previous generations, Toni Bodenstein tries to track down the secret of the terroir, to fathom the fathomable, to approach the unfathomable. His passion: to produce unmistakable wines in a unique landscape, which are a reflection of the vineyard from which they come.


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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
Pago de Carraovejas Ribera del Duero 2020

Pago de Carraovejas Ribera Del Duero is made from 90% Tempranillo, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Merlot


The Pago de Carraovejas Ribera del Duero vintage marks a turning point in the history of the winery. From now on, the Crianza and Reserva are unified in this wine that focuses on the terroir and character rather than the time of aging. Its renewed label reflects the three key elements of this red: origin, soul and emotion. 


Pago de Carraovejas Ribera Del Duero is made with grapes grown in the Botijas River valley, and planted between 1988 and 2011. Our work over the last 30 years has been geared to handcrafted viniculture, that puts as much care as possible into the microclimate conditions and the details. We have placed particular attention on the maintenance of the soil by plant cover that already grows spontaneously. It allows us to develop the ecosystem of the valley, which we respect scrupulously, using organic fertilizer and sulfur as the sole basis of our viticulture.

Depending on which plot they come from and the time they enter the winery, the grapes may be deposited in cold chambers to prevent oxidation and preserve the aroma. We carry out a two-part selection: first on the vine, where we choose the bunches, and then on a belt in the winery, where we remove the grapes that do meet the necessary conditions. The grapes enter the winery and are transported with the assistance of gravity. The deposits are filled slowly and gently. Depending on the characteristics that we detected when tasting the grapes, we ferment them either in stainless steel deposits or French oak barrels. For years we have worked with our own yeast that has been isolated from the vines by our team. This work is also partly responsible for the Carraovejas character.


The wine was aged in barrels for around twelve months.

 Review:


"The 2020 Pago de Carraovejas was produced with a blend of 92% Tinto Fino (a.k.a. Tempranillo), 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. 2020 was a good vintage for them. They harvested earlier (but the wine still has 15% alcohol), all in small boxes and 3,000-kilogram containers, and they are also using 600-liter oak barrels and oak vats for the élevage. It has an expressive nose of ripe berries, sweet spices and some toast and is lush and creamy, with a soft texture. It's powerful in the house style, but there's balance and harmony. They produced some 800,000 bottles. - Luis GUTIERREZ"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (January 31st 2023), 93 pts


 Wine Advocate: 93
Try these Similar In Stock Wines
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
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
Rudi Pichler Kollmutz Smaragd Gruner Veltliner 2022

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:

I have heard gruner veltliner dismissed for supposedly not being elegant, but this is an extremely elegant example! Very complex nose of snow peas, green beans, wild herbs and green pepper. On the medium-bodied palate, this remarkable gruner veltliner has a discreet succulence, but what makes it amazing is the way it glides so gracefully over the palate, then splash lands in a deep pool of wet stone minerality. Underplayed power and concentration!

-James Suckling 97 Points

 97 Points
Rudi Pichler Grüner Veltliner Ried Hochrain Smaragd 2022

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.

Hochrain, a name meaning "high place," is a southeast-facing terraced vineyard in Wösendorf sitting between 200 and 300 meters of elevation. The vineyard consists of an unusually high content of loess, a mineral-laden soil that produces wines that are especially broad and rich.

Review:

“A stunning wine for this grape that is also rather easy to understand. The Reine Claude plum and peppery nose is complex, but already charming. As exciting as the simultaneously creamy and succulent mid-palate is, what makes this medium- to full-bodied gruner veltliner really stand out is the extremely long, crushed rock finish.”

James Suckling 96 Points

 96 Points
Prager Smaragd Klaus Riesling 2022

Prager Smaragd Klaus Riesling 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 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:

  What a stunning example of cool climate riesling. It’s full-bodied and deep, but so cool and delicate, packing in sleek layers of honeysuckle, apricots, lemons and grapefruit married to thyme and crushed rock. So long and seamless, with tension and focus that just keeps going. Sustainable. Try from 2025.

-James Suckling 98 Points

 98 Points
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