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F.X. Pichler Gruner Veltliner Reserve M Smaragd 2016

F.X. Pichler Gruner Veltliner Reserve M Smaragd 2016

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"The 2016 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd M is sourced in the Loibenberg (50%), Kellerberg and Liebenberg and was picked very late, with ripe and over-ripe berries that give intense and concentrated fruit aromas. The M tries to extract the "Maximum" from Grüner Veltliner and was macerated for 24 hours before the juice was fermented in a newer 5,000-liter barrel from Franz Stockinger. On the palate, this is a full-bodied, ripe, rich, elegant, rather smooth and powerful but still piquant and salty Grüner Veltliner with firm but fine tannins and lingering fruit. This is a very different style compared to the crus from Lucas Pichler. Drink: 2018-2040. 93-94 points

2016 has brought serious wines at FX Pichler, especially bright Rieslings (Kellerberg!) and gorgeous Muscat (Gelber Muskateller Loibenberg), whereas Grüner Veltliner had to be strictly selected due to rot and acid rot. The finest wines are super aromatic and well concentrated but also pure, piquant and spicy/herbal. They are less rich and powerful compared to 2015 but straight, fresh and full of mineral tension. Due to rainfalls, the harvest went on in a stop-and-go modus similar to 2008, but the 2016s are very different: cooler and much more elegant and precise. Lucas Pichler compares the Rieslings with 2004, whereas he doesn't know to which vintage he could compare the 2016 Grüner Veltliner. These are full-bodied, round and intense but possess mineral structure and freshness. From the 2015 vintage comes the Sauvignon Blanc Grosse Reserve, a spectacular wine readers can already be excited about. With the 2016 vintage, FX Pichler introduces two well known wines with a new designation. The former Frauenweingarten Federspiel comes along as Loibner village wine today. The Dürnsteiner Smaragd follows the Oberhauser and underlines the new strategy of the Vinea Wachau: Single vineyard names should be reduced and only be used for top wines. On the other hand, the new village wines (Ortsweine) should form the medium category of the future three-tier quality pyramid and use the popularity of the villages that are better known than all the single vineyard designations of the region. The generic wines will be simply sold as Wachau wines. I have tasted just a "Best-of" with Lucas Pichler who brought all the samples to the Domäne Wachau where I tasted most of the Wachau wines for this report in early July 2017."

Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (232)