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Pichler-Krutzler Gruner Veltliner Pfaffenberg Alte Reben 2016

Pichler-Krutzler Gruner Veltliner Pfaffenberg Alte Reben 2016

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"Sugar snap pea, beet, sea breeze and crushed stone make for hidden sweetness and earthy intrigue on the nose as well as the glossy, full palate. Muskmelon succulence adds to the appeal of a lusciously lingering and mouthwateringly sweet-saline finish that admirably manages to exhibit the transparency to nuance for which Pichler and Krutzler are aiming. (For some background on these unique old vines, consult my review of the 2013 installment.) Drinking window: 2018-2028. 92 points

Elisabeth Pichler and Erich Krutzler began their 2016 harvest on September 23, finishing in the first week of November. The crop here – in what was the couple’s first entirely organic outing – was not only surprisingly abundant for the vintage but also, according to Krutzler, rudely healthy. He nonetheless opted for gentle and in most instances immediate pressing, with the aim of optimizing clarity and achieving, in his words, “vertical, straight wines.” The approach proved a great success, very much aided by the proclivity of this ripening season to yield generously ripe flavors at substantially lower potential alcohol than did 2015. Pichler and Krutzler were concerned as usual to get their Rieslings into bottle in June or early July before the arrival of midsummer heat – which ended up arriving in spades in 2017. A bit of the Grüner Veltliner got bottled slightly later. (For details concerning this estate’s vineyards, practices and recent history, readers are invited to consult the extended introductions to my reports on its 2013 and 2014 collections.)"

David Schildknecht, Vinous (12/18)