2017 Weingut Emmerich Knoll, Gruner Veltliner, Loibner Federspiel, Wachau Austria.
The lighter Federspiel GruVee from Emmerich Knoll is full of life and flavor with bright mineral and acid intensity showing a pale greenish gold hue in the glass. Emmerich Knoll, a third generation vigneron, located in Austria’s Wachau region, in Unterloiben, west of Vienna and on the mighty Danube is one of the greatest producers in the world and one of the most iconic for crafting Austria’s signature Gruner Veltliner as well as dry Riesling. What really stands out is the purity and terroir that shine through Knoll’s wines, it is extraordinary that even his delicate Federspiel can be so complex and layered. Set on gravelly soils with orthogneiss and loess as well as river sand and alluvial deposits, Knoll’s vineyards are all located on the far eastern end of the Wachau gorge, this area is the warmest part of region, though still considered a cool climate, all of which contributes to the wines sense of place.
The crisp and salty dry Knoll Loibner Gruner Veltliner Federspiel takes a minute to open in the glass and reveals itself with subtle aromatics and filling out to a medium body on the racy palate showing lemon/lime, green melon, unripe white peach and zesty grapefruit fruits along with citrus blossom, wet stones, steely mineral, snappy herbs, white pepper and almond oil. The Weingut Knoll is very traditional in winemaking and uses exclusively old oak foudres for fermentation and aging with fine lees aging, their wines are surprising long lived and coveted by white wine lovers, though I enjoy them fresh and youthful as well, I find them crystalline and energetic going great with a variety of cuisines, I especially find them a gorgeous pairing with sushi. This 2017 is ripe and textured, but delightfully vibrant and refreshing with its lower alcohol profile and remarkable balance, though hard to find, this is one to look for.
($33 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive