2003 Alzinger Loibner Steinertal Smaragd Riesling

May 02 2010 - 8:51 PM

Aaah, those long, but nonetheless helpful, descriptions of wine.  The long names are particularly common in Germany, Austria, and Burgundy, where winemakers source grapes from a variety of sources.  Classification is also important.

This Austrian Riesling is from the Wachau region, known for its quality wines, and it is a Smaragd, which, as mentioned in previous posts, is a weightier wine with a higher alcohol (over 12.5 percent ) but with little residual sugar (less than 9 grams a liter).  Generally speaking, vignerons in the Wachau region offer their best wines as Smaragd, with the other classifications being Federspeil (between 11.5 and 12.5 alcohol), a mid-grade wine, and Steinfeder, a local classification.

The Alzinger had nice hints of lemon, a hint of minerality, stone, and a decent amount of concentration.  It also contained notes of wood reminiscent of old oak, typical of many Austrian Rieslings, which are aged in large old oak barrels. 

Howard's Wine Cellar on Belmont may have a few bottles left, at $39.99.