<10 tasting notes
Having been bottled in April 2016, this received a shorter stay in cask than its three Steinriesler predecessors. (The vineyard source is Vom Stein. On the origins of Nikolaihof Steinriesler, readers are referred to my inaugural Austrian report for Vinous; and for the origins of the name “Steinriesler,” to my review in the subsequent report of the vintage 2002 installment.) A nose mingling gentian, elderflower, seaweed, mussels, salt spray and chicken stock is about as intriguing and far from fruity as the nose of any Riesling can be. Sage, fennel, peach kernel, lemon, alkali and wet stone all chime in on the silken, buoyant (11.5 percent alcohol) palate, rendering a carpet of richness and intricate complexity that unrolls in a mouthwateringly saline finish of polished and prodigious length. Nor does this bottling forget Riesling’s first duty to refresh. Those unfamiliar with Nikolaihof Vinothek bottlings, or who have not stopped to contemplate the chemistry of maturation in a large cask that’s effectively sealed with tartrate deposits, may be surprised at how little old oak flavor or sense of oxidative evolution this wine displays, and what hints of both are present merely enhance its multifaceted depth.
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