2011 Riesling Durnsteiner Kellerburg, Smaragd, F. X. Pichler, Loiben

2011 Riesling Durnsteiner Kellerburg, Smaragd, F. X. Pichler, Loiben

Product: 20111314784
2011 Riesling Durnsteiner Kellerburg, Smaragd, F. X. Pichler, Loiben

Description

Undisputed Grüner specialists and leading producer in the Wachau, F.X. Pichler dates back to 1898. In the early 1970s Franz Xaver (F.X.) Pichler took over the helm at the estate and his meticulous approach to production earned him cult status in Austria. Today the estate is run by his son, Lucas.

So feminine, so refined and softly spoken, Kellerberg Riesling reflects the granite, loess and some alluvial deposits that soak up the south-east facing aspect to give us this sylph-like Riesling; a wine that's been sensitively and traditionally reared in large old oak barrels. It’s a joy to drink even now, along with some freshly smoked brown trout. This wine will improve over the years to come, but it’s already gorgeous, lacy, limey, velvety, with smoothness that comes from the loess component in the soils.
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About this WINE

Weingut F. X. Pichler

Weingut F. X. Pichler

Weingut Franz Xaver Pichler in Dürnstein is a family-run winery based in the Austrian wine region of Wachau. The vineyads consist of 16ha of vines, mainly Grüner Veltliner und Rheinriesling.

Grüne Veltliner M (for Monumental) and the Grüne Veltliner Kellerberg Smaragd are their flagship cuvees, followed by the Rheinrieslinge M, Unendlich and Kellerberg Smaragd. Hugh Johnson described the winery as one of the leading growers in the region of Wachau.

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Wachau

Wachau

The sweeping, steep terraces of the Wachau, in Lower Austria, on the northern banks of the Danube, an hour’s drive west from Vienna, are home to Austria’s greatest dry white wines.  

Here Riesling and Grüner Veltliner excel in producing wines of startling purity and pristine intensity.  The climate changes slightly to produce the warmer, richer wines around Dürnstein and Loiben, to steely yet opulent wines around Spitz.  

Recommended Producers

Toni Bodenstein of Weingut Prager epitomises the former, whilst Franz and Irmgard Hirtzberger’s vineyards are the ultimate expression of the latter.  The region uses a unique system of classification to indicate the level of ripeness at harvest.  Steinfeder is the lightest, with an alcohol of around 10%, then Federspiel, which must not exceed 12% and finally Smaragd, named after an emerald green lizard found in the vineyards, which are assertive, late-harvested wines, but fermented to dryness.

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Riesling

Riesling

Riesling's twin peaks are its intense perfume and its piercing crisp acidity which it manages to retain even at high ripeness levels.

In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings, yet it is responsible for all its greatest wines. It is planted widely on well-drained, south-facing slate-rich slopes, with the greatest wines coming from the best slopes in the best villages. It produces delicate, racy, nervy and stylish wines that cover a wide spectrum of flavours from steely and bone dry with beautifully scented fruits of apples,apricots, and sometimes peaches, through to the exotically sweet flavours of the great sweet wines.

It is also an important variety in Alsace where it produces slightly earthier, weightier and fuller wines than in Germany. The dry Rieslings can be austere and steely with hints of honey while the Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles are some of the greatest sweet wines in the world.

It is thanks to the New World that Riesling is enjoying a marked renaissance. In Australia the grape has developed a formidable reputation, delivering lime-sherbet fireworks amid the continental climate of Clare Valley an hour's drive north of Adelaide, while Barossa's Eden Valley is cooler still, producing restrained stony lime examples from the elevated granitic landscape; Tasmania is fast becoming their third Riesling mine, combining cool temperatures with high UV levels to deliver stunning prototypes.

New Zealand shares a similar climate, with Riesling and Pinot Gris neck to neck in their bid to be the next big thing after Sauvignon Blanc; perfectly suited is the South Island's Central Otago, with its granitic soils and continental climate, and the pebbly Brightwater area near Nelson. While Australia's Rieslings tend to be full-bodied & dry, the Kiwis are more inclined to be lighter bodied, more ethereal and sometimes off-dry; Alsace plays Mosel if you like.

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