Sunday, 27 October 2013

Autumn Austrian

Saturday saw the start of this year's Herbstmesse (Autumn Fair) in Basel, Switzerland's oldest fair spanning over 500 years of history. Meanwhile, the local wine fair (Basler Weinmesse) also began, and I for one intend to pay this event a visit over the course of the coming week.

I first acquainted myself with the following wine at Basel's wine fair around seven or eight years ago (I can't remember when exactly). Normally, you can't buy bottles for immediate consumption there, but the man at the stand showing this one for tasting purposes kindly made an exception. What followed, if I recall correctly, was a Riesling-fuelled Saturday evening back at my place.

Fast forward to September 2013 and I spot the 2010 vintage of the same wine lying forlornly with other bin ends in some random wine shop in Basel. My mind immediately wanders through the haze of time back to that day in the mid-Noughties. Despite the years that have passed, the bottle is imminently recognisable on account of its beautiful label. I never made notes on the original wine (2003 or 2004 vintage, most likely), so this has been a long time in coming.

Weingut Jäger, Riesling Smaragd, Ried Achleiten 2010, Wachau, Austria
Greenish straw in appearance. Lovely minerally whiff. Honey, peaches and ripe, red-cheeked apples. Crystalline and highly structured on the palate. Bone dry with ample alcohol, but totally balanced. The acidity is electrifying and will ensure that the wine will stand the test of time. Yet at no stage does it feel harsh. Salty minerals, candied lemon and peaches all the way. The finish is long.

Absolutely top class. What is refreshing is that this wine has not been filled into one of those heavy bottles that are meant to elicit reverence among wine lovers but feel like lead weights when you lift them. There is no point in that anyway when a wine like this speaks for itself.

1 comment:

  1. Got 95 points from Falstaff - you have a very good wine there.