F.X. Pichler Gruner Veltliner Durnsteiner Kellerberg Smaragd 2012


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“The Pichlers’ 2012 Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Kellerberg boasts a luscious pear and apple fruit fundament backed by a lush, glycerol-rich texture, with complementary overtones of honeysuckle and lily of the valley perfume. Yet for all of the richness my aforementioned description implies, this also boasts a remarkable sense of primary juiciness as well as lift, leading to a finish of refined, polished, succulent length, stimulatingly suffused with crushed stone and pungent Szechuan pepper. As another demonstration of how important is the character of an individual vineyard in ways that can’t be captured analytically, this wine is well over 14% in alcohol despite its buoyancy, whereas the corresponding Liebenberg at 13.5% reminds you of its alcohol and lacks levity. “One factor,” observes Lucas Pichler “is that Kellerberg is in the shadow after mid-afternoon while Liebenberg gets sun well into the evening.” Plan to follow this Kellerberg through at least 2025.Drink: 2014-2025. 94 points

“In recent years,” notes Lucas Pichler, “we’ve been harvesting a little earlier in order to depress the alcohol levels a bit,” which in 2012 meant among other things beginning with Gruner Veltliner Federspiel already in the third week of September. After what I had tasted thus far of the vintage, I was amazed to find the Rieslings here in aggregate even finer than the Gruner Veltliners, a pattern that was to be dramatically accentuated at nearby Alzinger. (I did not get chance on my most recent visit to catch-up with Pichlers’ Sauvignon Blanc from this vintage.)”

David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (212)