2010 Weinlaubenhof Kracher, Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese, Number 3, Dessert Wine, Zwischen den Seen, Burgenland, Austria.
The Kracher winery is one of Austria’s greatest estates, specializing in heavenly sweet wines of complexity, depth and structure and most famously their iconic Trockenbeerenauslese or TBAs, which are made from various grape varietals, including Scheurebe, as found in this gorgeous Number 3 version from the 2010 vintage. Sadly, founder Alois Kracher died in December 2007, he will always be remembered as one of the most influential Austrian vignerons and most notable personalities. Since his passing, his son Gerhard has emerged as a talent himself, keeping the Kracher wines in the top echelon of collector offerings, with this Scheurebe TBA showing beautifully with a rich layering of honeyed fruits, including candied citrus, dried pineapple, lemon curd and golden fleshy peach, as well as creme brûlée, crystallized ginger, clove spice and tertiary and delicately earthy elements. The flavors are lush, but still remarkably fresh and lifted, this golden/amber Kracher was a spectacular end of a recent wine dinner and a stunning reminder of use how good these wines are. This Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese was, as per normal with this grape, fermented and matured exclusively in stainless steel on the fine lees for close to 20 months to promote purity and retaining vitality. Shuerebe (Samling 88) is a rare varietal, mostly found in Germany, though some exists in Austria, it was created from a seed crossing of Riesling and a little known varietal called Bukettrbe back in 1916 by Doctor Georg Sheu, hence the name, which became official as tribute to its creator. Newly researched details by Anne Krebiehl MW, who presented these now known facts in her book “The Wines of Germany” notes, that for many years, it was thought Scheurebe was a crossing of Riesling and Silvaner, but conclusive studies has proved otherwise.
The legendary late Alois Kracher, with his Kracher Winery, located in the Seewinkel area of Austria´s Burgenland region, became one of the world’s most sought after sweet wine producers capable of rivaling the best of Chateau d’Yquem and or Tokaji in neighboring Hungary, featuring varietals such as Welschriesling, Chardonnay, Traminer, Scheurebe, Muskat-Ottonel and, from time to time even Zweigelt, the red grape. Close to Lake Neusiedl, the winery explains, the evening fog and the warm Pannonian climate, with the continuous warm-humid weather patterns there prime conditions for Botrytis (noble rot) which makes for these exceptional world class, luxuriously sweet and age worthy Beerenauslese,Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein wines that sets Kracher apart. Kracher learned to craft his wine based on individual terroirs with Zwischen den Seen (“in between the lakes”) being wines, which the winery says are matured, in large wooden barrels or steel tanks, and undergo long yeast contact in order to deliver freshness, fruit und primary grape aromas into the bottle. The wines of the Nouvelle Vague line, at Kracher, are marked by a barrique aging regime, with the winery saying that there is an air exchange during maturation, which promotes a vivid and lively palate, an added depth, spiciness and length, which gives notable characteristics. This wine performed outrageously well with a range of cheeses and fruit and cream, with the winery suggesting that aged Comte, a French alpine cheese and or Époisses de Bourgogne, an ultra decedent triple cream, to go with this one, which I recommend. I am a huge fan of Scheurebe, dry, off-dry and luxuriously sweet as this one is and suggest exploring the varietal, with my favorites being mainly the German versions, like those by the Nahe’s Kruger-Rumpf, who’s Spatlese is wildly good, exotic and tropical, and Mueller-Catoir’s Trocken from the Pfalz, which is chalky and elegant, as well as Kracher’s stunning TBA. If you are lucky enough to have someone offer you Kracher, any of the Weinlaubenhof Kracher collection, don’t miss this special opportunity, trust me!
($75 Est. – 375ml) 96 Points, grapelive