On our visit to Wachau we stayed in Mautern, not long from Nikolaihof. We visited the restaurant twice and tasted through the recent range of wines, many from 2005.
Grüner Veltliner steinfeder trocken 2005, 10,5%
Light straw colour. Aromatic nose of apricot, fine minerals, a little spice. Acidic and light wine in the mouth. Fine fruit, apricots, some mineral. Medium length. Quite simple and very refreshing. Summerdrink.
Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug 2005, 11,5%
Light straw colour. Better depth in the mouth. More mineral, less aromatic. More extract in the mouth and better depth. More mineral in the fruit. Still not the greatest depth. Structured wine with fine acids. Fine balance. Good length. More foodfriendly. I like this.
Grüner Veltliner Im weingebirge federspiel trocken 2005, 12%
Light straw colour. More obvious Grüner Veltliner-pepper in the nose with hints of apricot and some mineral. More structure and a little closed in the mouth. Fruit showing some spice and sweet fruits. Good concentration. Citrusy finish. Acidic backbone. Good, give it some time.
Riesling vom Stein federspiel trocken 2005, 11,5%
Light straw colour. Mineral nose. Hints of flowers and slate. Acidic and slim wine in the mouth. Highly mineral fruit. Some flowers and apricot showing. Structured and young wine. Good length.
Burggarten neuburger trocken 2005, 11,5%
Light straw colour. Mineral nose, some grass-notes, even seaweed. A little fat in the front of the mouth. This shows more of the fruit now. More opulent, but slim style for this grape. Mineral and some seaweed. Very fine fruit indeed. Great neuburger with fine acids and low alcohol for the grape. Also a fine foodwine. Very fine indeed and a surprise to me. Highly recommended for the price.
Baumgarten Weissburgunder trocken 2005, 11,5%
Light straw colour. More aromatic, typical weissburgunder; green notes, flowery. A little less structuredin the mouth than the neuburger. Showing a little less fruit now. Still good acids and lightly green and flowery notes. A bit young and a little short. Good, but no great weissburgunder.
Chardonnay trocken 2005, 11,5%
Light straw colour. More neutral and shy nose. Shows some mineral, citrus. Slim chardonnay in the mouth. Slightest fat in the front. Some apricot in the fruit, but mostly mineral. Good acids for the grape, still lower than most other wines this night. Citrusy finish. A lighter chardonnay with good length. Perhaps will improve with time, but not my favourite of the tasting.
Riesling vom stein smaragd 2004, 12,5%
Light straw colour. More intence nose here. Shows more mineral, more power and complexity. Slight evolvement. Less structure in the mouth. Less acids and shorter. No 2005-structure here. Fine fruit, a little evolved. Good wine, but shows that 2005 is a clearly better vintage in Wachau than 2004.
Steiner Hund riesling reserve trocken 2003, 12,5%
From Kremstal. Straw colour. Complex and mineral nose. Hints of nettle, herbal notes, flowery, some petrol. Complex. Mineral depth. The real thing. Fullbodied and intence in the mouth, concentrated fruit. Very fine, mineral fruit. Complex and cool for this vintage. Drinking beautifully now. A little less structured than the 2005's, but still good acids and balance. Very fine. One of the highlights of the tastings and a great Steiner Hund-riesling. A real highlight of the vintage.
Grüner veltliner smaragd im Weingebirge zu Mautern 2002, 12,5%
Straw colour. Smokey and spicy nose. A bit peculiar. Showing some apricot and slight firn. Less intence than the Steiner Hund. Mineral Grüner veltliner in the mouth with good structured and slim wine for a smaragd. Spicy finish. Perhaps difficult serving after the Steiner Hund. Good, more than great.
Steiner hund riesling jungfernlese lieblich 2005, 12%
From 4 year old vines. Light straw colour. Intence sweet flowers and hints of slate in the nose. Quite sweet in the mouth with fine balance with the acidity. Sweet flowery, young riesling-fruit. Almost german-like. Lacking a little mineral depth. But fine structure. Good acids and length. Give it some time.
Grüner Veltliner Schlossberg jungfernlese halbtrocken 2004, 11%
4 year old vines. Light straw/greenish colour. Very shy nose here. Some spice. A little apricot. Half-sweet in the mouth. Fruit showing some spice, a little aprocot, but giving very little. Hard to judge. Decent structure. closed. Judgement reserved.
Grüner Veltliner Süssenberg auslese lieblich 1999, 12,5%
6 years in large barrels. Golden colour. Botrytis in the nose and hints of sweet apricot and honey. Some old wood, some spice. Sweet, dessertwine style in the mouth, but not very sweet. Fine structure and length. Different, complex, not so pure fruit. Shows botrytis, honey and more oxidation in an old-fashioned style. Good length. Good wine.
Grüner Veltliner Vinothek 1991, 12,5%
Yes there is another vinothekabfüllung this year, and it is a grüner veltliner this time. 15 years in barrel. Straw/greenish colour. Spicey and complex nose, Mineral, lightly spicey, some firn, herbal notes. Fullbodied and concentrated in the mouth. Much extract. Mineral and herbal. Complex. Spicey long finish. Structured and a "young" 15 years old grüner veltliner. Will last a long time. Very fine, food-friendly. Great wine.
Nikolauswein trockenbeerenauslese 2001, 10,5%
80% riesling, 20% mix of others. 4 years in large barrels. Deep golden colour. Nose shows hints of caramel, raisins, botrytis, old woods. Fullbodied and sweet in the mouth. Some fat in the front. Raisiny fruit. Botrytis. Good length and fine structure. Good acids. Good, more than great TBA.
The style at Nikolaihof is slim wines with refreshing acids, low alcohol and concentrated often mineral fruit. In 2005 they made wines in that exact style and with more structure than in other years. The wines have absolutely no hints of overripeness and most would probably gain from cellaring at least a year or two.
Eating at Nikolaihof's restaurant (open 4 days a week from April to November) was an eye-opener to the way they matched their wines with food. There was a whole lot of bitterness in the food. Especially from salads, rose-leafs and fresh herbs. Often used together with local products of pork it matched very well with the wines.