2011 Grüner Veltliner, Smaragd, Ried Schütt, Emmerich Knoll, Wachau, Austria
About this WINE
Emmerich Knoll's winery in Unterloiben is one of Austria's most famous wine-growing estates. Each bottle’s traditional label is almost as highly regarded as the wines themselves.
The Knoll estate is located in the village of Unterloiben in the wine-growing region Wachau. It has been run by the family for decades and today Emmerich II and Monika Knoll and their sons Emmerich III, who travelled far to acquire knowledge on his passion and august, who just finishend studies in agriculture are in charge of the 15 hectares of land where the famous grapes grow.
Holdings of the estate can be found in top Wachau sites as Schuett, Loibenberg, Kellerberg, Kreutles and the kremstal vineyard Pfaffenberg. Over 45% of the vineyards are planted with each Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, the remaining 5% for Chardonnay, Gelber Muskateller, Rivaner, Gelber Traminer and Pinot Noir.
Emmerich Knoll doesn't like overpowered, exuberant wines. Tight, concentrated wines which show their power packed - that's the credo of the ordinary estate. Knoll's wines are considered late bloomers beyond exception. His Riesling Schütt is regarded a “primus inter pares” among wines of the Smaragd type and the range of sweet specialties which is produced whenever vintage conditions permit is equally excellent.The Kellerberg is one of the world's best individual terrains and bears, thanks to its special geological qualities, very exceptional wines. Emmerich constantly works meticulously to refine his products.
The sweeping, steep terraces of the Wachau, in Lower Austria, on the northern banks of the Danube, an hours drive west from Vienna, are home to Austrias 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.
Toni Bodenstein of Weingut Prager epitomises the former, whilst Franz and Irmgard Hirtzbergers 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.
Grüner Veltliner is Austria's most famous grape variety. It is indigenous to Austria and is grown extensively in every Austrian wine region with the exception of Steiermark. It constitutes 36% of all vineyard plantings with the best wines coming from the north-east of the country, particularly regions such as the Wachau, Kamptal and Kremstal which border the Danube river.
Grüner Veltliner is a late ripening variety that typically produces wines that are pale green in colour and display fruit notes of grapefruits, limes, pears, and sometimes hints of white pepper. They normally possess a steely backbone of acidity which enables the best bottles to age gracefully. The grape's natural acidity accompanied by its restrained and understated fruit characters makes its wines ideal partners for food. A marvellous alternative to the more mainstream white grape varieties.
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The single vineyard of Schutt is famous for its dry rocky gneiss soils, which imparts a distinctly smoky complexion to this Veltliner. Indeed, & thanks to the low-tech way in which Knoll operates, you'd be hard pushed to identify the grape variety, for the terroir is allowed to express itself fully in the wines. Hence the limy intensity & precision shown by this wine could apply to both Riesling or in this case Veltliner. That said the Veltliner gives it a suave quality; Schutt gives it stature! Drinking but will improve over another ten years.
David Berry Green
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