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Wednesday 4 April 2012

Prager at Annual Tasting of Austrian Wines‏

Based in the pretty village of Weissenkirchen mid-way up the Wachau, Prager is one of Austria's greats.

It was in part researching the different Prager vineyards that gave me a day-dream to compile an encyclopedia on the terroirs of the Wachau; for whilst there are any number of books on the minutiae of Burgundy, the vineyards of the hundred or so producers in the Wachau are still not properly documented in one place, yet to my mind are equally worthy of study, classification and documentation.

A retirement project, perhaps.

The wines were presented by Toni Bodenstein of Prager - an impressively dapper gent, pictured below with wife, Ilse.

As noted elsewhere, 2010 was a cool and difficult year in the Wachau; 2009 and 2011 were warmer and easier.

Smaragd Steinriegl Riesling 2010 - a lean, herbaceous, mineral nose. The palate shows a flintiness and is weighty with a sweet-sour feel.

Smaragd Achtleiten "Stockkultur" GV 2009 - from 80yo vines, an expressive nose of petrolliness and sweet, ripe fruit. On the palate, it is ripe, mouthfilling and savoury. It feels rich and powerful with a ripe sweet-sour acidity.

The word Stockkultur refers to the vines being untrained and growing freely.

Smaragd Achtleiten Riesling 2010 - a ripe, concentrated nose with a rounded ripe fleshy, peachiness on the palate. It feels full with a complex mixture of savoury toastiness, ripe fruit sweetness and persistent minerality.

Federspiel Hinter der Burg 2011 GV - shows the effects of a warmer vintage in the Wachau; with a peppery, flinty nose it shows ripe stone fruit on the palate but has lower acidity. There are classic varietal puy lentils and celery on the palate and a mineral smokey toastiness.

For more details on the winery, see my review of Prager from 2011's Annual Tasting of Austrian Wines.

Recommended Wine

As may be expected, all the wines here were excellent, but the Smaragd Achtleiten "Stockkultur" GV 2009 was the stand-out.
The wines are imported by Fields, Morris & Verdin.


Prager - http://www.weingutprager.at/
Fields, Morris & Verdin - http://www.fmvwines.com/

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