Thursday, November 29, 2012

St. Urban to the rescue

1999 Nikolaihof Riesling Spätlese Reserve Steiner Hund
Really pretty, very Steiner Hund nose right out of the gate. Something about this wine just screams alpine meadow with its floral bouquet and sunny disposition. On the palate the wine is more or less resolved and really feels natural, if that makes any sense. I’ve always felt that way about these wines, sort of like Clos Roche Blanche, they just have a texture that I associate with the best of natural wines as well as a outdoorsy wildness to the aromatics. It also has a note of OFF to it that I also, weirdly associate with natural wines (counter-intuitively, I find it very pleasant). A very good wine and one I think should be consumed in the next couple of years. I plan to.

1996 Weingut Knoll Riesling Smaragd Ried Schutt
My last bottle of what was my first Austrian wine purchased for cellaring. A challenging year, with all sorts of hail and rot and botrytis. This wine doesn’t show those things, with the exception of some botrytis. The color is a darker golden and the nose is a piercing and intense blend of rocks and grape skins. It just smells acidic, in a very good way. As the wine warms and opens, a whole bundle of other Riesling aromatics come out, with the thankful exception of diesel and lactic notes, neither of which appeal to me. The mouthfeel has a density and richness sliced through with penetrating acidity. With time everything sort of balances out without ever losing freshness. This was a great showing for an excellent wine from a great vineyard in a difficult vintage. Yet more evidence to producer and vineyard over vintage.

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