Aug 19, 2013

Wachau & Kamptal trip (Austria) - Part 1 - F.X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner Von den Terrassen Smaragd 2006

F.X. Pichler's 2006 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Von den Terrassen was one of the most memorable wines during my trip to Austria this July. Found this gem in the Wine & Co shop in Vienna for only 29 eur, which is remarkable since the new vintages were priced on the same level, 2006 being an excellent vintage for grüner veltliner in Wachau, and older vintages were hard to come by.

The color is already slightly developed straw yellow with a reflection to greenish. The wine's age of 7 years is evident on the nose which is already developed and pronounced. The wine has smoke, caramelized pear, ripe apple and vanilla notes on the nose with a hint of minerality.

The smoky notes on the nose remind me of a smoke sauna (a Nordic tradition), however the smokiness does not dominate. In fact, F.X. Pichler uses only large oak (no barriques are allowed under Wachau rules), thus neither oak or toasty notes dominate and their wines keep the natural freshness. Similarly reminding me of a smoke sauna, there was a hint of chemical substance on the nose.

On the palate, the wine triumphs over its so many peers. Elegant, broad and nicely structured, it has great acidity (I would rate 3+ or 4 on a scale of 5) which carries the beautiful taste long in the aftertaste. The secondary notes, which evolve through additional years in aging the wine, can be felt here and viscosity is slightly heavier than for younger grüners. Oak is present on the palate while the alcohol level (14% abv.) is a bit high overpowering the mouthfeel somewhat, however on a positive side it provides backbone for the wine.

The taste has a plethora of pear, apple and smoky notes, I actually wrote on my notes that the wine is wine world's equivalent to a strongly peated single malt whisky! Which could be a bit troubling to read for many wine lovers, however I still encourage to try this wine and you will see how elegant it can be.

More tasting notes to follow soon with winery visit information and recommendations.

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