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2009 Rudi Pichler Riesling Smaragd Achleiten
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97 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - April 2011

Medium green-yellow. Initially delicate aromas of peach blossom and greengage plum expand slowly and mount in intensity. This is first and foremost a wine that carries the stamp of the Achleithen vineyard with its dark smoky minerality, yet the mouthwatering passion fruit and peach flavors are exquisite as well. Lime, anise and fresh tobacco leaf add complexity. All the components here—sweet fruit, vibrant acidity, muscular power and minerality—are in perfect balance. This incredibly focused and intense wine looks to be the best Achleithen here since the legendary 1979 made by Lucas Pichler's father F. X. and will surely prove to be a wine of reference for the future generation. I have no doubt it will still be enjoyable three decades hence.

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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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