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FX Pichler Riesling Federspiel Loibner Burgstall Wachau 2012 (750ML)

FX Pichler Riesling Federspiel Loibner Burgstall Wachau 2012 (750ML)

WA 93 points

After the opacity of their dense and powerful In der Wand Riesling, Pichler and Krutzler’s 2012 Riesling Loibnerberg – raised split between cask and tank – returns us to the refinement and transparency to nuance that characterize the best wines of their vintage collection. A saliva-inducing, sweet-saline, scallop-like savor suffuses this beauty’s juicy white peach matrix, through which shimmering mineral nuances and bittersweet, liquid floral notes suggest iris and gentian, leading to a lingering and engrossingly interactive finish. I would expect this to richly reward return visits through at least 2020.

Elisabeth Pichler and Erich Krutzler (for extended accounts of whose young estate consult my issue 181 and 197 reports) continue to hone their distinctive style as well as to freely and intuitively experiment, unencumbered by local habit or by the structure – however arguably useful – of the Vinea Wachau’s trio of wine categories. They carefully filter and critically consider any received opinions, even (or, dare I suggest, especially) those of Elisabeth’s famous father, F.X. (Tasting and trading observations and anecdotes with husbands and wives of both generations was among the highlights of my most recent Austrian travels.) Picking at this estate began already in late September, though Krutzler laughingly attributes that in part to his red-wine mentality which encompasses rigorous crop-dropping, in which he intends to be less aggressive in future. Erich Krutzler places emphasis on the relatively small berries and high skin-to-juice ratio of 2012 fruit in delivering energy, structure and sheer personality surpassing those exhibited in 2011, and he was not afraid to observe his norm of 24-30 hours’ pre-fermentative skin contact. Even as Pichler and Krutzler continue to build their vine surface via some extremely savvy and lucky site selections, their technical capabilities are being enhanced as well. New large casks are gradually being introduced, and beginning with vintage 2014, new equipment will permit movement of fruit as well as wine entirely by gravity and open-up a wider range of pressing options. (I’ll review recent Blaufrankisch bottlings from this estate as part of a separate report highlighting wines of Burgenland, especially those from that grape.)

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