Riesling Smaragd Achleiten 2014

Prager

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When Franz Prager co-founded the Vinea Wachau in 1983, he had already established a reputation as one of Austria’s best winemakers. The marriage of Franz’s daughter, Ilse, to Dr. Toni Bodenstein in the 1990s was the catalyst for sweeping renaissance at the winery. Bodenstein, a biologist, geologist and historian, spent years studying the geology of the region and focused much of his attention on preserving genetic diversity. His “Arche Noah” project, a planting of old Grüner Veltliner and Riesling clones is the result of his work. Bodenstein’s scholarly approach, passion for biodiversity, and brilliant winemaking has elevated Prager to the highest echelon of Austrian wine producers.

Achleiten is one of Austria's greatest vineyards and is known for producing wines with a distinctive mineral character. Achleiten sits near the town of Weissenkirchen with steep terraces that face the Danube between 200 and 400 meters of elevation. The vineyard has very little top soil with various Gneiss in its parent rock. The name Achleiten comes from the Latin "Ach" (aqua) and "Leiten" meaning a conduct for water. Wines from Achleiten have a signature aroma and flavor of flint, smoke and minerals.

About the Vineyard

Toni Bodenstein describes the grapes from the grand-cru-like Achleiten vineyard as coming from “destroyed soil.” So prized has this walled vineyard been over the years that it has been worked down by man and by nature to a point where the coverage of soil is only 40 cm in some parts. The loess soils just barely cover the granitic rocks underneath and yield grapes with great minerality. The long growing season of this southeast-facing vineyard allows the grapes here to attain a level of richness and complexity not often found in cool climate wines. The resulting wines are a stunning mix of finesse and structure.

Tasting Notes

This Riesling is a clear, bright pale lemon-green with a slight pétillance in the glass. Aromas of green apple and lemon are prevalent with subtle notes of white peach and chamomile in the background. On the palate, the wine is light-bodied, crisp, and ever so slightly off dry with flavors of green apple, lemon, and underripe peach with hints of petrol, clove, and a stony minerality on the finish.

Food Pairing

Pair this rich Riesling with fish dishes – tuna, salmon and more strongly flavored freshwater fish. It would be a perfect companion to Whole Roasted Black Bass with Ginger and Scallions.

Vineyard & Production Info
Production area/appellation:
Wachau
Vineyard name:
The Achleiten vineyard
Vineyard size:
5 acres
Soil composition:
Gneiss, Rocky, and Silty-Loam
Training method:
Cane-pruned
Elevation:
820-1,020 feet
Vines/acre:
2,960
Yield/acre:
1.6 tons
Exposure:
Southern / Southwestern
Year vineyard planted:
1952-1953
Harvest time:
November
First vintage of this wine:
1955
Bottles produced of this wine:
6,900
Winemaking & Aging
Varietal composition:
100% Riesling
Fermentation container:
Stainless steel tanks
Length of alcoholic fermentation:
28 days
Fermentation temperature:
64 °F
Type of aging container:
Stainless steel tanks
Length of aging before bottling:
7 months
Length of bottle aging:
2 months

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