2020 Gruner Veltiner Ried Loibenberg Smaragd, Weingut Knoll, Wachau, Austria
From the most respected and well known producer in Wachau, this 96 point iconic Gruner Veltliner, the Ried Loibenberg Smaragd, is a single vineyard wine made exclusively from Gruner Veltliner grapes from the Loibenberg vineyard.
The 2020 vintage may have been a difficult year but some producers can pull excellence out of the bag even during the toughest of challenges and with the trademark floral bouquet, unctuous mouthfeel and super long finish you'd expect, this is another stellar effort that will evolve beautifully over the coming years.
So much mirabelle and grapefruit with delicate notes of wild flowers and Mediterranean herbs. Rich and concentrated, with a compact core and great mineral acidity, underlined by fine tannins. Together they really push the bold finish a long way out. Enormous aging potential. 96 Points. James Suckling (June 2022)
FOOD PAIRING INSPIRATION
This 96 point Gruner Veltliner is famous for pairing well with Asian food and Asian spices as well as classic Austrian hams and cheese as well as sushi.
VINTAGE AND WINEMAKING
The 2020 vintage had a warm early season causing premature bud burst in Austria but otherwise the vintage was one of the most trying in recent years not least thanks to the pandemic but also hail in August and intermittent rain and cold weather. Early frost damage in April reduced overall yields in Wachau by 20%. However, the vintage was saved by a warm summer but the lack of overall heat in the vintage produced classic Gruner Veltliners, much more in the style of the 90/00s, zippy, alive and refreshing rather than more modern hot vintages.
Weingut Knoll is a cult producers of fine Gruner Veltliners and Rieslings in Wachau. The distinctive label with St. Urban on the front is instantly recognisable with wine fans and has, fortunately, not has not been changed in decades. These are wines of style and substance whilst the everything in the vineyard in winery is kept fairly simple, every stage is tackled with excellence.
Knoll farm around 18 hectares, a third of which are challenging terraced vineyards. Grüner Veltliner accounts for around half of the grapes grown in the Kreutles, Trum, Loibenberg and Schütt vineyards whilst Riesling is planted in the Loibenberg, Kellerberg, Pfaffenberg and Schütt vineyards. The highly-sought Vinothekfüllung, a selection of the ripest grapes from various sites, is also made from both varieties - depending on the quality of the vintage.
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SERVICE AND STORAGE TIPS
The wine will evolve over the coming decade and take on delicious tertiary characteristics of Gruner Veltliner but is can also be enjoyed young, now-2030.
This wine should be served lightly chilled.
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2020 Gruner Veltliner Ried Loibenberg Smaragd, Knoll
|Good to Excellent - Parker
|Drink Now but Will Improve
|Sushi, Thai Food
|96 Points - James Suckling
|95 Points - Robert Parker
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