2013 Weingut Emmerich Knoll, Traminer Smaragd, Loibener, Wachau Austria.
The beautifully golden and lush Knoll Traminer is an off dry and textural white from the Wachau region of Austria, it’s a unique almost iconic example of varietal and place, from a producer more known for their famous Gruner and Riesling wines, it is wonderfully mature in feel and style, somewhere between an Alto Adige and Alsace in expression. This clone, is not as sweetly perfumed as an Alsace Gewürztraminer and more sensual in mouth feel than the Italian versions, it’s almost a wine that cannot be classified dry or sweet as it has a wonderfully balanced nature, even though Traminer has naturally low acidity, you never think it is overt or cloying, but still has that sexy seductive roundness, with it’s forward in it’s almost botrytis like honeyed nectar presence in the glass. Fermented to 14%, this Emmerich Knoll Traminer Loibener Smaragd is all about opulent details and exotic flavors, some subtle and some flamboyant that unfold in a complex array with expressive lychee, dried apricot, pear puree, rose oil and earthy notes along with faint flinty spice, tropical elements, sweet and sour herbs, creme brûlée, lemon and clove. I must admit, this is a confusing wine in many ways, but I still adore it’s glorious and audacious nature, I think it really shows it’s best in a select setting including the right pairing, it would be magical in that sense, I can see a wide variety of cuisine and food choices to make this Traminer shine, less sweet would be best, more like foie gras, extreme briny dishes, even oysters, plus tangy/fruit or palm dates or dried figs to Korean BBQ beef! Again, this wine makes you think sweet, but it is not really a dessert wine and incredibly intriguing, it’s a rare beauty, this was my very first expense with it, and now that I’ve tasted it and reflected on it, the more I want more!
($33 Est. 500ml) 92+ Points, grapelive

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