Prager Dinner with Robert Bodenstein

Chicago, IL

Tasted September 14, 2017 by acyso with 223 views

Flight 1 - Grüner Veltliner (4 notes)

White
2012 Prager Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachstum Bodenstein Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
88 points
Probably the most muted and restrained of all the GVs that we had tonight. I liked the kaffir lime flavours here, and the palate, that had a nice touch of green that was never over the top. There's a little bit of sweetness that balances the heightened acidity and green that I really like here, but all in all I expected a slightly more complex wine.
White
2013 Prager Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachstum Bodenstein Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
88 points
To me, this was probably the most rounded and full-bodied of the wines in this flight. I also didn't find this too complex, but I did love the balance between the bit of sweetness and green here again. This didn't have quite as much mineral cut and acidity as the rest of the wines (perhaps a function of this being the second-hottest vintage on record). Easy-going and approachable now.
White
2015 Prager Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachstum Bodenstein Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
90 points
Of the three Wachsstum Bodenstein GVs we had, I would say that this was my favourite, perhaps because of the young wine flavours that this still had. There's that delicious white peach/green Thai herb thing going on here that is really addictive. This bottle also had the most bracing acidity. Obviously young, but pretty delicious nonetheless.
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White
2015 Prager Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
90 points
Of the GVs we had tonight, I would say this was my overall favourite. This was the most linear and precise of the wines, showing a good dose of acidity and a strong mineral backbone. On top of that was the freshness and zestiness of the young vintage. Fresh white pineapple notes on the nose and palate are really prominent.

Flight 2 - Achleiten Riesling (4 notes)

White
2015 Prager Riesling Smaragd Achleiten Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
88 points
In comparison to the GVs, I think the 2015 rieslings (both this and the Klaus) seemed to suffer a bit from being so young. This didn't feel like it had fully integrated yet, with the mineral aspects not in sync with the fruit (it felt like you were tasting them separately). A bit interesting to me as well was the attenuated acidity here, which I thought detracted from the experience.
White
2013 Prager Riesling Smaragd Achleiten Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
90 points
This is a dry riesling that seems to have benefitted from the riper vintage, which bestowed on this wine some honeyed tones, as well as a bit of sweetness from the riper fruit. Despite that, there is some serious cut at the same time, which makes this a pretty good package. It's plausible that the two extra years of bottle age are what it takes to transform something like the (relatively unintegrated) 2015 to this.
White
2000 Prager Riesling Smaragd Achleiten Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
flawed
To my palate, this was stewy and heat-damaged; interestingly, the 2000 Klaus also suffered the same fate.
White
1999 Prager Riesling Smaragd Achleiten Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
93 points
An outstanding dry riesling, perhaps because it didn't really come off as a super dry riesling at all. There are a few slight petrol notes that remind you that this is old riesling, but the real story here is that this wine is in an almost classic Kabinett style. There's some really nice yellow stone fruit here that lends the illusion of residual sugar. Couple this with a bit of green herbs and crisp minerality and you get a really good wine.

Flight 3 - Klaus Riesling (4 notes)

White
2015 Prager Riesling Smaragd Klaus Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
88 points
This wine is clearly a sibling of the Achleiten. There's no way around that conclusion. The difference here is that the Achleiten is a bit more fruit forward, rounder, and sweeter, while the Klaus shows a bit more steely, with more of a focus on salinity and minerality. This is a little more austere, which I found made it a little more difficult to enjoy in comparison.
White
2012 Prager Riesling Smaragd Klaus Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
88 points
Of the Klaus wines we tasted, this was the most lean, mineral, and taut. I found myself wishing for a little bit more sweetness or fruitiness to balance out all that mineral salinity. In addition, I found this showing a bit more green as well.
White
2000 Prager Riesling Smaragd Trocken Weissenkirchnen Klaus Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
flawed
Like the Achleiten, stewy and likely heat-damaged.
White
1999 Prager Riesling Smaragd Trocken Weissenkirchnen Klaus Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
90 points
In theory, I should have liked this wine more than the Achleiten -- it's a bit more complex, showing some smokiness, and more minerality and salinity -- a chablisienne analogue, perhaps? But it ends up sliding a little more austere for my palate, even though it's incredibly easy to see the resemblance between the two wines. If you dig for it, you can find a bit of the sweet fruit that I loved so much in the Achleiten, but at the end of the day, I much preferred that wine for its more easy-going disposition.
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