<10 tasting notes
Like its remarkable Vom Stein counterpart, I tasted this wine after it had been racked to tank, a few months before its December 2017 bottling, then again from bottle in the course of 2018. The penetrating nose is dominated by white peach, white currant and lime, anticipating the brightly juicy palate impression. But suggestions of crushed stone, bittersweet iris, clam stock, radish, kelp and smoky black tea add increasing intrigue as the wine opens to the air and is worked over in the mouth. There is underlying firmness but also a suggestion of silkiness born of lengthy lees exposure in cask, and the sense of levity, remarkably, is that of a typical Nikolaihof Federspiel more than of a Smaragd. The vibrant finishing influx of alkali, crushed stone, iodine, mineral salts, mustard seed and white pepper is almost savagely intense, practically stinging – taking matters in an at once mouthwatering and invigorating but also slightly austere direction. Here’s further proof for any who remain skeptics that the 2014 vintage – its challenges and vicissitudes notwithstanding – has at its very best delivered some of the Wachau’s and neighboring Lower Austria’s most exciting and potentially ageworthy wines of the past two decades. Tasting the outstanding 2013 alongside, this 2014 came nipping right at its heels: attention au chien!
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