2002 Alois Kracher Noble Wine #12 Zwischen den Seen

SKU #1182630 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 ...it practically goes without saying that this elixir is embryonic, and hiding more – for all of its intensity and virtually endless length – than it shows. And did I say it’s been in bottle one week? It smells of honey, white raisin, and above all peach and apricot essence. It is virtually gelatinous and, amazingly, not at all cloyingly sweet on the palate, on the contrary its rapier penetration of a finish is only possible thanks to a level of acidity that pushes residual sugar off the radar screen and leaves this taster totally enervated. But there’s no point hoping to get turned on by my poor prose: you just need to taste this. Talk about early days: there is still some CO2 palpable trapped on the thick palate! (DS)  (8/2005)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 According to Austrian law, this is actually not wine at all but rather partially fermented grape juice, as it did not reach 5% alcohol. (It is only possible for alcoholic fermentation to take place on the exposed surface of syrupy grape musts with sugar content this high.) Originally confiscated by the federal wine inspectors and forbidden to enter the market, the product was then de-classified and labeled as a partially fermented grape must. Similar lots in the past at the Kracher winery have never been as clear and clean, and this cuvee can be considered Kracher's ultimate reply to Tokaji Essenzia. Brilliant pale amber color. Aromas of smoky botrytis, spicy pumpernickel, stone fruit jam, exotic tropical fruit and flowers. Thick yet somehow juicy and balanced, thanks to its very strong acidity. This elixir is an infant today, and has a potential for nearly eternal life in bottle. (PM)  (11/2005)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* The ultimate in the Kracher lineup of sweet wines, this is destined to become a legend. It is hugely liquorous, intensely flavored with botrytis, honey, acidity, and enticing aromas of honeysuckle and sweet cottage garden flowers. Because this essence couldn't ferment above 4% alcohol, it is not allowed to be called wine, so is described as partially fermented grape must. (RV)  (10/2006)

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Other White Wines

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Austria

- 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.