Emmerich Knoll Gruner Veltliner Ried Schutt Smaragd 2022


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“The 2022 Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Schutt is from a site formed of deep weathered gneiss deposits that came through the gully of the Mentalgraben. That gully also tunnels cold air, ventilating the south-facing site, especially at night, and creating a large diurnal swing. Smooth yeast only appears in brief glimpses on the nose. The palate has a stony slenderness—a bony, skeletal presence that projects stone covered in savory, salty yeast, shimmering with white pepper and smooth white miso. This is a slender, stony, even crunchy Gruner, with ample depth and tension. (Bone-dry) Drink: 2027-2045. 95 points

The Knolls have been local to Unterloiben since the 1820s, when the estate was a mixed farm. Brothers Emmerich and Dominik Knoll, both trained as winegrowers, bottled their first vintage under the name Emmerich Knoll in 1961, a few years after they returned home as Soviet prisoners of war. Dominik Knoll married into the Loibnerhof family and became innkeeper, while Emmerich Knoll took over winemaking. Initially the wines were served and sold exclusively in the Loibnerhof. In 1974, his son Emmerich took over. Now, the third Emmerich is in charge, although the estate is run by the whole family. Emmerich Knoll III joined his home estate in 1996, after attending Weinbauschule Krems, followed by stints in Burgundy and Bergerac. Knoll emphasizes how he learned from both his grandfather (1909-2000) and father. Today, the family farms 20 hectares and buys grapes from a further 8.4 hectares, all from longstanding farming partners in Loiben. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling each make up 45% of plantings, followed by Muskateller, Gelber Traminer, Chardonnay and Blauburgunder. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are crushed on their stems, pressed after some skin contact and fermented with some turbidity. Super-cool ferments are avoided and take place in stainless steel and large barrel. Smaragd wines stay in barrel for between eight and nine months. The house made its name with wines from the Ried Schütt vineyard, and its cooler aspect defines the elegant house style. The single-site Smaragd wines do not contain botrytis. It is the Vinothekfüllung that takes the ripest and sometimes slightly-botrytised fruit from Schütt, Kreutles and Loibenberg, thereby delivering one richer-style wine while keeping the single-site Smaragd wines free from any obvious botrytis. They may well contain some botrytised fruit, but, as Knoll puts it, botrytis influence “remains below the radar.” In 2022, the Knolls had to select a lot after some hail damage in August and a rainy harvest, and there was less Smaragd than usual. No sweet wines were made in 2022. During my visit, I tasted the 2022 vintage of Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Muskateller and Traminer.”

Anne Krebiehl, Vinous (02/24)