2014 Prager Achleiten Riesling Smaragd Wachau (last of vintage) (Previously $68)

SKU #1240678 98 points James Suckling

 A stunning high-end dry riesling that's still quite shy on the nose, but really concentrated and very finely-nuanced on the palate. Devastatingly beautiful peachy fruit, some honeysuckle and enormous depth at the long, graceful finish. This will age well if you can resist it now. *Top 100 of 2017*  (11/2017)

92 points Vinous

 A bright but succulent alliance of fresh lime and white peach is complemented by a silken, lees-enhanced texture and a buoyancy born of modest alcohol. Stony, crystalline suggestions of mineral impingement lend intrigue and invigoration in a long, vibrant finish, to which subtle pip and pit piquancy as well as an unusual note of ash add further stimulation. As this takes on air, a hint of fungal botrytis tone becomes evident, but for now that’s simply another source of complexity, and hopefully it won’t turn problematic. (DS)  (2/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator

 This rich version is layered with ripe flavors of peach, plum and spice that are lush. Offers pastry notes midpalate, with a vibrant minerality, followed by roasted almond and marzipan on the decadent finish. (KM)  (12/2015)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Riesling Smaragd Achelten is very pure and stony on the nose, almost dusty and vegetal, but also indicates some ripe and well-concentrated Riesling flavors. Full-bodied, intense and fresh, with a thrilling concentration of everything (acidity, fruit, minerals), this is probably Toni Bodenstein's best 2014. The botrytis seems well selected (and comes along with noble rot flavors) and there is the precision, finesse and density that is lacking a bit in the other Smaragd wines of this difficult vintage. Keep this wine for another year or two and enjoy it over the next 15 years or even more. (SR)  (4/2016)

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Price: $48.99
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- 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.