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2016 FX Pichler Kellerberg Riesling Smaragd Wachau

SKU #1326887 100 points James Suckling

 An amazingly concentrated dry riesling that somehow manages to be extraordinarily light-footed. There's a super-wide spectrum of aromas from parsley through lemon grass, with ripe white peach, mandarin orange and white chocolate in between. The breathtaking balance is more important than all of this, extending right through the incredibly long, lingering finish. Drink any time during the next thirty years! *Ranked #7 on Top 100 of 2017*  (11/2017)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Wonderfully aromatic notions of blood orange zest and ripe Meyer lemon swirl on nose and palate of this wine. Its slender yet concentrated body imbues that citrus tautness with hints of richer fruit—think juicy Mirabelle plum and ripe orange. A lemon note keeps the balance firmly in the tart camp, making for a zesty, intense and clean midpalate and finish. That blood orange aroma lingers magically. Drink 2020–2035. (AK)  (3/2018)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Ried Kellerberg Riesling Smaragd opens very pure, intense and flinty, with concentrated stone fruit aromas oh the nose. Rich and intense on the palate, this is an elegant, pure, finessed and very mineral Riesling with perfect mango aromas and piquant acidity. Very salty and tight, with great concentration and a persistent aromatic finish, this is a terroir-driven and age-worthy Kellerberg, a truly great wine! Tasted as a sample in July 2017, three weeks before the scheduled bottling. 2016 has brought serious wines at FX Pichler, especially bright Rieslings (Kellerberg!) and gorgeous Muscat (Gelber Muskateller Loibenberg), whereas Grüner Veltliner had to be strictly selected due to rot and acid rot. The finest wines are super aromatic and well concentrated but also pure, piquant and spicy/herbal. They are less rich and powerful compared to 2015 but straight, fresh and full of mineral tension. Due to rainfalls, the harvest went on in a stop-and-go modus similar to 2008, but the 2016s are very different: cooler and much more elegant and precise. Lucas Pichler compares the Rieslings with 2004, whereas he doesn't know to which vintage he could compare the 2016 Grüner Veltliner. These are full-bodied, round and intense but possess mineral structure and freshness. From the 2015 vintage comes the Sauvignon Blanc Grosse Reserve, a spectacular wine readers can already be excited about. (SR)  (8/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Intriguing flavors of bergamot, cardamom, stone and spice mark this seductive, vibrant Riesling. Slim, yet expressive and complex, with a delicate frame and an elegant feel. Shows wonderful integration and harmony among all the elements. The finish is long and inviting, making this hard to resist now. (AZ)  (9/2018)

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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.