On our second day in Wachau we visited one of my favourite producers in the area; Weingut Prager. We was met by Toni Bodenstein who talked a lot about both wine and history of the region as we tasted through the 2005-vintage.
Grüner Veltliner Zwerithaler smaragd 2005
Vines planted 1967. Yellow colour. Fine nose with hints of apricot and slight spice. Some mineral, but more fruity. Concentrated in the mouth. Much fruit and fine hints of grüner veltliner-spicyness. High acids and strutured wine. Very fine GV, but perhaps lacking a little mineral depth.
Grüner Veltliner Achleiten smaragd 2005
Yellow colour. Here is the minerality an complexity missing in the Zwerithaler. The fruit shows more citrus-notes. Also a concentrated and acidic GV in the mouth. But this is more elegant and with racy minerality in the mouth. Great wine.
Grüner Veltliner Achleiten Stockkultur 2005
Vines planted 1936-37. 14000 vines/Ha. The Stockkultur uses vines that have an older way of binding the canes. It is an experiment from Toni Bodenstein. Yellow colour. Sweeter nose, more friut, apricot, more spice, but also with great minerality and complexity. Highly concentrated GV in the mouth with a lot of extract. Really powerful wine. 14% alc. and more than 10 g/L. acids explains Toni Bodenstein. But in it's hugeness there is also elegance and a raciness to find here. Long taste. Tremendous wine and one of the very best GV's I have tasted. Great future.
Riesling Steinriegl federspiel 2005
Straw colour. From soil with gneiss. Yellow colour. Flowery nose with some firn and minerality. Medium bodied in the mouth. Suffers a bit for being served after the big GV, but this much lesser wine has a fine flowery fruit with some mineral and firn. Not as fine and a little more rustic.Fine acids and decent length. Fine federspiel for the price.
Riesling Kellerberg smaragd 2005
Straw colour. This is the more mineral approach of riesling. Racy, fine nose. Some citrus. In the mouth a slimmer approach. Mineral and elegant. A little subdued and closed. Not as complex right now. Acidic finish. Fine wine, but needs time.
Riesling Hollerin smaragd 2005
Straw colour. "The warm vineyard", and quite the opposite wine from the Kellerberg. Shows a lot of fruit, some mineral. Pure and more opulent riesling in the mouth. The least acidic wine of the evening. Medium length. Sharming and more easy-going style.
Riesling Achleiten smaragd 2005
Straw colour. Mineral and complex nose. Some spice and citrus. Fullbodied riesling in the mouth with high extract. Fine mineral fruit, complex and racy. Young and a bit closed. Needs time. Great wine.
Riesling Wachstum Bodenstein smaragd 2005
From vines planted 400 meters above the water-level. Viens trained low to the ground to extract heat. This vineyard was planted in 1990 by Toni Bodenstein. People though he was mad planting vines so high in the Wachau. Hence the name of the vineyard that Toni Bodenstein gave it. Straw colour. Mineral, citrusy nose. Not as complex showing today, but with great potensial. Fullbodied, but very elegant style of riesling smaragd in the mouth. A step up in quality from the Achleiten. More pure and racy and finer acidity. Also closed at this stage. Needs time. Great wine.
Riesling Klaus 2005
From the vineyard next to Achleiten with paragneiss and a higher content of potassium. This year the Klaus stopped fermenting at 26 g/L. residual sugar. Toni Bodenstein did not want to restart the fermentation with additives, so it is not totally dry and therefore no smaragd this year. The wine has a yellow colour, mineral nose with some more apricot and a little sweetness. Powerful in the mouth, much fruit, slight fat in the entrance, som sweetness, but fine balance with cleansing acids. Fine fruit, mineral with some apricot and citrus. Good length. I like this wine a lot and find the sweetness suits this wine very nicely. Great wine.
I really liked the wines from Weingut Prager this year. I am normally a fan of Prager. This year the wines are big and concentrated with great acidity-levels. Both a mark of the 2005-vintage in Wachau. Toni Bodenstein seems to have balanced the aromas of the wines well so they are not too ripe, but elegant and finely tuned. The experiment with the Stockkultur gave a really interesting grüner veltliner and for me the wine of the tasting.