Rudi Pichler, Smaragd, Trocken, Weissenkirchner Steinriegl, Wachau (qualitatswein), Niederösterreich, Austria, 2002
This wine: lot No. none visible – so a single bottling run, varietal riesling, coated natural cork closure (one of the hardest corks I have ever had to pull), 13% abv, Gauntleys, £10 (£28), bin end (12/18)
Consumer tasting note: an almost bone dry Austrian riesling, with fresh acidity and lots of everything – intensity, concentration, complexity and length, showing a tertiary profile with telltale lime and a hint of petrol, alongside pineapple, dried peach, baked apple and roasted nutty hints. Finishes long.
Drink now – RTD and will keep for 3-5 years – Wait. Decant off the tartrate crystal deposit, and start to enjoy right away.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity gold, showing tears [a 1/4 teaspoon of tartrate crystal deposit – a not uncommon feature of ageing in whites, less commonly in reds].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of lime marmalade, baked apple, honeyed, dried peach, a hint of petrol, a delicate lift of white peach, hint of wax, hints of grapefruit segments and fresh cut green cooking apple, a hint of roasted nuttiness, baked pear.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, with a smooth oily texture and the slightest of grips, with flavours of pineapple, dried peach, baked apple, lime with the merest frill of petrol, a touch of roasted nuts. A long length, with a clean finish of dried stone fruit edged with a touch of lime, with the slightest of grips.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced fresh acidity with alcohol, altogether in keeping with the quite strong intensity, and slightly lesser concentration; a fully developed profile with a moderate-high complexity on the nose, less so on the palate, with just a touch of tertiary petrol adding to the complexity. Finishes long.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 3-5 years – a sound structure and balance, with a fully developed tertiary character, which will not improve with further cellar time.