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2003 Leo Alzinger Riesling Smaragd Steinertal
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no stars Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2004

($60) The mineral pungency inherent in the site plus a touch of botrytis make for a formidable, dense, tactilely challenging if not at all open and ingratiating riesling. Banana oil, tropical fruits, and sweaty-salty aromas. Voluminous and esterous on the palate, but with a rather grainy feel, with sharp notes of mineral salt and bitter grapefruit rind. This really rides your palate hard in the finish and you just have to hang on for dear life. Potential 2 stars.

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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 Riesling grape may scare away some wine novices. In Germany, where the grape reaches its finest expression, labels hew to a rigid, abstruse set of classifications, leaving newcomers with little idea what they may be looking at. Furthermore, many wine drinkers' early experiences with sweet wines from Germany (think Blue Nun), have not been especially rewarding. We say that it's your loss if you continue to fear the...
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