From: Wachau, Austria
Varietal: Grüner Veltliner
Critical Acclaim: RP 94 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Alzinger's 2021 Ried Loibenberg Loibner Grüner Veltliner Smaragd is wonderfully clear, fresh and bright on the nose with precise fruit. Rich, elegant and full-bodied on the palate, with dense, long-lasting fruit and savory spice, this is a grippy and zesty Veltliner with plenty of power and structure. Best after 2025.
Taste: As of June 25, 2023. In the glass, the potential of this wine is immediately apparent, and though beautiful now, this elegantly powerful Grüner Veltliner will blossom and shine with age. We recommend holding for a few years before enjoying. Stony minerality and clear, precise fruit shine. Herbaceous and concentrated, the wine is loaded with vegetal-tinged notes of citrus skin, white pepper, and crushed rocks. The creamy texture is balanced by zesty acidity and a marine-like salinity, making it a homerun bottle for a slew of dishes.
Pairing: Given its kaleidoscope of flavors and its poised balance between fruitiness and minerality, The Alzinger Ried Loibenberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 2021 is exceptionally versatile when it comes to food pairing. For a classic Austrian pairing, consider serving this wine alongside Wiener Schnitzel (check out the recipe below) with a side of potato salad. The crispiness of the schnitzel complements the wine’s vibrant acidity, while the velvety texture matches the succulence of the meat.
Seafood is another excellent partner for this Grüner Veltliner. Try it with grilled shrimp, lightly seasoned with herbs, or with fresh oysters. The wine's tropical notes and zestiness will accentuate the freshness of the seafood. For a vegetarian option, a creamy asparagus risotto would harmonize beautifully with this wine. The creaminess of the risotto is offset by the wine’s acidity, and the vegetal notes of asparagus mirror the subtle green notes in the wine.
By Kurt Gutenbrunner
About. There's a lot to be said about the rich heritage of the Grüner Veltliner grape, especially when it's nurtured in the acclaimed region of Wachau, Austria. However, when that grape is cultivated with the intimate knowledge and passion that Weingut Alzinger brings to the table, the result is the truly exceptional Alzinger Ried Loibenberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 2021.
With the guidance of Leo Alzinger Jr., who took over the family domaine in 2002 after accruing global experience and knowledge, including a formative stint with legendary winemaker Hans Günter Schwarz, Alzinger has cemented its reputation for crafting elegant and refined wines. The lessons he learned from the world's top producers are reflected in the Loibenberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner. Alzinger’s wines are never forceful or assertive; they are instead amazingly sanguine and calmly transparent. The concentrated, elegant essence of this offering beautifully mirrors its terroir, an artful balance between powerful expression and gentle restraint.
The complex aroma profile features tropical nuances, a nod to the rich, sun-soaked terraces of Loibenberg where this Gruner Veltliner is grown. On the palate, the wine is velvety and juicy, yet gripping and lively, showcasing the balance that is so characteristic of Alzinger's approach to winemaking. The family’s focus on physiological ripeness rather than sheer sugar levels allows the wines to attain a balance that enhances the naturally lively character of the Gruner Veltliner grape.
This dedication to excellence has not gone unnoticed by wine critics. The 2021 Ried Loibenberg Grüner Veltliner Smaragd was awarded a commendable 94 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, which noted the wine's "grippy and zesty" character, rich fruit, and savory spice, highlighting its power and structure. The wine is expected to peak after 2025, making it a fantastic candidate for aging.
Alzinger's winery, nestled in Unterloiben across the street from Knoll, is an intimate operation with a truly grand output. It holds parcels in the famed vineyards of Loibenberg and Steinertal, each offering unique terroir elements that beautifully express themselves in the wine. Grüner Veltliner thrives on the silty, loess-based parcels of the vineyard’s lower terraces, producing wines that mirror the site's natural charm.
Austria’s Wachau region, a stunning vista of steep, south-facing terraced vineyards overlooking the Danube, seems as if it were designed by nature to produce extraordinary wines. It combines the purity and minerality of the Mosel, the depth of Alsace, and the full, rich finish of great white Burgundy. Alzinger's wines, including the Ried Loibenberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner, embody all of these qualities, yet they always maintain a distinctive understated elegance.
The Wachau is home to some of Austria’s best sites for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, with a varied and distinct character that's being increasingly emphasized in vineyard-designated offerings. The diurnal temperature shifts facilitate great balance of sugar and phenolic ripeness in its grapes, which contributes to the character of wines like the Loibenberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner.
The Grüner Veltliner grapes for this particular wine are grown on the barren primary rock and shallow soils of Loibenberg’s south-facing terraces. These terraces store sun throughout the day and the altitude varies significantly. The vineyards are protected and shaded by forests and ditches that open to the north, which allows the climate to cool down, especially at night.
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