Kracher Cuvee Beerenauslese (375ML half-bottle) 2017
Bright yellow with silver reflections. Pronounced honeyed notes over attractive aromas of ripe stone fruit, subtle spices and mineral character. Nuances of juicy yellow fruit with vibrant acidity; highly elegant and balanced with a touch of salt, leading to a lingering mandarin finish. Great potential.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 vintage was so short that Gerard Kracher included wines in this BA that are usually destined for his higher-level “Collection” range. The botrytis was also especially good, he says, and he moved quickly to pick the grapes while the acidity was still high. The result is honey-smooth and concentrated, a blend of chardonnay’s green-apple flavors and welschriesling’s bright herbal notes preserved with clarity and precision. The sweetness acts like amber, capturing a moment of perfect ripeness in perpetuity.
Notes of crushed dandelion leaf, pear skin, white pepper and candied lemon make for an intriguing nose. The palate is of spicy, almost furious intensity, furthering its intense sweetness with that tingling pepper spice. This certainly has drive and a lovely spicy phenolic edge. The finish is all about candied lemon zest.
Tons of melon and floral-honey character with just a hint of vanilla, this has a balance rather similar to Sauternes, but with more freshness. A lighter touch and some saltiness at the long, lively finish. Drink or hold.
Located in the Seewinkel, an area in the Burgenland region of Austra, along the eastern shore of Lake Neusiedl, Weinlaubenhof Alois Kracher is in possession of a microclimate uniquely suited to the production of Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese wines. 32 hectares of vineyards are planted with Welschriesling, Chardonnay, Traminer, Muskat Ottonel and Scheurebe. Kracher is internationally regarded as one of the finest dessert wine makes. After Alois Kracher passed away in December 2007, his 27 year-old son Gerhard took over responsibility of winemaking. He manages the winery with the same strength, firm will and consequence as his famous father once did.
The source of Austria’s finest botrytized sweet wines, Burgenland covers a lofty portion of Austria's wine producing real estate. It encompasses the smaller regions of Neusiedlersee, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland. The latter two are most associated with their exceptional red wines. The region as a whole produces no shortage of important whites.
Neusiedlersee, named for the lake that it surrounds to the east, is home to a great diversity of grape varieties. The region’s most notable wines, however, are the botrytis-infected, sweet versions.
Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, which wraps the lake on its western side, includes the town of Rust, a historically esteemed wine community. Its close proximity to the lake’s fog and mist make it another source of some of the more prestigious botrytized wines. Neusiedlersee-Hügelland also produces fine Blaufränkisch, Pinot Blanc, Neuburger and Grüner Veltliner, though a label will usually name the more general, Burgenland, so as not to confuse it with its eastern cousin, Neusiedlersee, across the lake.
Blaufränkisch is well suited to and makes up over half of the vineyard area in Mittelburgenland. The region’s hills and plateaus, which are composed of variations in schist, loess and clay-limestone, produce high quality reds with interesting diversity.
Südburgenland, also known for its deep, complex and age-worthy Blaufränkisch, is beginning to turn out some alluring whites from Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc).
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.