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1998 Alois Kracher Chardonnay
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no stars Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2000

Pungent and nose‑wrinkling, with lees, wood spice and even a whiff of cigar smoke about it. Yellow plum, cherry preserve, white raisin and subtly caramelized peach in the mouth. Phenomenally thick and rich, yet somehow effortlessly light. Endless variations on pit fruits, white raisin and honey in the finish. This is a wine you'll never taste. Why? Because it not a wine. "I thought about bottling this stuff under that name, ‘Kein Wein’ (no wine)," quips Kracher. This superconcentrated essence could not reach the legal minimum of 5% alcohol requisite for wine. It will be blended with a small amount of another exceptional batch of chardonnay (naturally a TBA) to nudge it over the threshold.

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About Austria

Austrian wine has rapidly gained in international stature in the past decade, mostly on the strength of Austria's dry white wines produced within a 20-mile radius of the small city of Krems on the Danube, less than 50 miles west of Vienna. The steep, terraced, riverside vineyards of the Wachau, immediately west of Krems, as well as geologically diverse sites on the edges of the city and to the north in the Kamptal, yield...
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The best Chardonnays in the world continue to arrive from the region where the grape first emerged: the chalk, clay, and limestone vineyards of Burgundy and Chablis. While the origins of the grape were disputed for many years, with some speculating that the grape came all the way from the Middle East, DNA researchers at the University of California-Davis proved in 1999 that Chardonnay actually developed...
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