2006 Donabaum Setzberg Riesling Smaragd Wachau (Previously $42)

SKU #1037524 93 points Wine Spectator

 Complex and rich, with a mouthfilling array of peach, ripe apple, apricot and white chocolate flavors and notes of anise and smoke. Viscous, with a long, cream- and spice-filled finish. A hedonist's delight. Drink now through 2015.  (5/2008)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium green-yellow. Inviting nose of intense stone fruits and delicate blossom honey backed with elegant minerality. Juicy and complex in the mouth, showing a flavorful core of fruit suspended in a refreshing acid structure. Apricot lingers on the finish of this nicely balanced wine. Already quite approachable and food-friendly. Drink from 2008 to 2014.  (12/2007)

K&L Notes

92 points from the Falstaff Wine Guide. Notes of petrol, fruits, and a very complex and long finish. This marks the second vintage of the Setzberg Riesling from Johann Donabaum. Perhaps less viscous than his Offenberg bottling, we found notes of petrol, subtle florals, and hints of citrus fruits at first swirl-and-sniff. On the palate we were greeted with more citrus notes (grapefruit primarily), and were knocked out by the epic length. A very complex wine that show off its elegance in its smooth presentation.

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Price: $27.99
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Staff Image By: Steve Greer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/12/2008 | Send Email
Austrian riesling is somewhat rare (less than 5% total plantings), but the Wachau region produces some of the best Austria has to offer. The Wachau has a large swing between day and night temperatures providing the grapes with both great sugar and acid levels. The Smaragd on the label is the quality level that roughly translates to a high spatlese or low auslese. This wine blew me away with its high-tone floral and petrol aromas. The lemon-lime flavors, creamy texture and long finish will make you fall for the elegant rieslings that Austria produces.

Additional Information:



- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Austria is a well-respected wine-growing region in Europe. Yet, even though they make about a third the volume of wine as Germany, not many of these fine bottles make it to the shelves of American wine merchants or restaurants. Lucky for us, their anonymity has translated into incredible value from simple, everyday whites to exquisite dessert wines. Austria shares many grape varieties with Germany—Riesling is king here, too. But the style of Austrian whites is much dryer and more potent. Grüner Veltliner is Austria's second-most-important varietal and makes whites of great versatility and pleasure. Click for a list of bestselling items from Austria.