Prager Riesling Wachstum Bodenstein Smaragd 2019


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“From the Achleiten at 460 meters above sea level, the 2020 Riesling Smaragd Wachstum Bodenstein opens with an intense, ripe and fleshy yet coolish, refined and elegant bouquet of white peaches and perfectly ripe apricots. The palate is crystalline, fresh and piquant, quite tight and salty, with firm and fleshy fruit aromas intertwined with a delicate juiciness and the crisp fruit flesh around the pit. A great wine. Tasted at the domain in June 2021. Drink: 2025-2060. 96 points

At Prager, I could not determine that 2020 would be inferior to the 2019 vintage; on the contrary, the 2020 Smaragd wines fascinated me enormously in their clear, cool, terroir-tinged way. A 38% loss had occurred mainly because of the hail on August 22, although predominantly in the Federspiel or Riesling vineyards. There was no damage in the top vineyards such as Ried Klaus, Achleiten or Zwerithaler. “Interestingly, the vines are in agony for about two weeks after the hail. There was no more growth, no development of ripeness and sugar,” reports Toni Bondenstein. The Veltliner then recovered earlier, while even picking a Riesling Federspiel in October was still a struggle. “Why Riesling reacted more intensively to the hail, I don’t know myself either,” says Bodenstein. Whole clusters were pressed to preserve acidity and to compensate for the lower extract, and compared to 2019, the 2020s were left on their lees longer. In June, however, the 20s in particular showed outstanding early shape.”

Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (12/21)