FX Pichler$95.00 Net
"M" Smaragd, Wachau
Best lots from Pichler’s best vineyards chosen for “M.” Last picking from this famously late harvester anyway. 14.5 Alcohol, fermented bone-dry.A spicy son of a gun. White pepper, fennel and coriander seeds along with grapefruit extract, parsnip and kumquat. Aggressive and intense.
David Schildknecht for The Wine Advocate, April 2014:
"Pichlers’ 2012 Gruner Veltliner Smaragd M – mainly from Loibenberg, plus bits of Kellerberg, Liebenberg, Kollmutz and Muhlpoint – definitely shows the effect of Lucas Pichler’s decision to harvest earlier in recent years than his father usually did, particularly for this bottling. “I think the result is a bit more elegant,” he suggests, and I agree, however conceptually slippery or overused that word is. “I want something similar in style and quality to the Kellerberg,” he adds, “only not showcasing the character of an individual site but instead the grape variety,” and arguably, I’d add – albeit rather obviously – the synergy possible among various vineyards. Diverse floral perfumes – which then reprise inner-mouth; distilled pit fruits; and intimations of ripe pear and musk melon, all anticipate the silken-textured, lush yet remarkably buoyant and vibrantly interactive palate impression, brown spice-tinged and mingled with crushed stone, piquant fruit pit and white pepper. This misses quite the sheer length and penetration of the Kellerberg, but projects a superbly colorful and dynamic, near-kaleidoscopic complexity seldom equaled among Gruner Veltliners. (If memory serves, this is the first time I’ve rated an “M” Gruner Veltliner superior to the corresponding Kellerberg.) Plan to follow this “M” through at least 2022.
“In recent years,” notes Lucas Pichler, “we’ve been harvesting a little earlier in order to depress the alcohol levels a bit,” which in 2012 meant among other things beginning with Gruner Veltliner Federspiel already in the third week of September. After what I had tasted thus far of the vintage, I was amazed to find the Rieslings here in aggregate even finer than the Gruner Veltliners."