Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Riesling 2015
Pair with: light fish dishes, soups, poultry, prosciutto and a wide range of vegetable dishes. Drink now for maximum freshness or within the next two or three years.
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The winery is led by MW Roman Horvath, whose team works closely with growers, and has instituted a vineyard quality assurance program. This sustainable vineyard management program includes measures of quality cultivation and is customized according to specific vineyards and vintage.
Austria imposes very stringent wine laws, and the Wachau region goes beyond these with their quality categories of Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd to assure uncompromising quality.
The Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretching from the banks of the Danube, benefits from the river’s role as a climate regulator. Many of the vineyards are very steep and terraced with very old, dry stone walls. The very best vineyards are vinified separately to produce single vineyard Gruner Veltliners and Rieslings.
As Austria’s most prestigious wine growing region, the landscape of the Wachau is—not surprisingly—one of its most dramatic. Millions of years ago, the Danube River chiseled its way through the earth, creating steep terraces of decomposed volcanic and metamorphic rock. Harsh Ice Age winds brought deposits of ancient glacial dust and loess to the terrace’s eastern faces. Today these steep surfaces of nutrient-poor and fast draining soil are home to some of Austria’s very best sites for both Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.
Wachau is small, comprising a mere three percent of Austria’s vine surface and, considering relatively low yields, represents a miniscule proportion of total wine production. Diurnal temperature shifts in Wachau facilitate great balance of sugar and phenolic ripeness in its grapes. At night cold air from the Alps and forests in the northwest displace warm afternoon air, which gets sucked upstream along the Danube.
Its sites are actually so varied and distinct that more emphasis is going into vineyard-designated offerings even despite grape variety. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are most prominent, but the region produces Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder), Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Zweigelt among other local variants.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.