Knoll - Grüner Veltliner Loibenberg Smaragd
The perfect counterbalance to all the easy drinking white wines in the world: this is bold, dense, and packed with minerally goodness and is built for long aging. The wine is challenging in its austerity but with faith and with age this wine will transform into a true thing of beauty.
- Champion of Single Vineyard wines in Austria.
- Considered to be one of the 2 best wineries in Austria.
- Famous for their label of St-Urban (patron saint of wine).
About the Winery
Emmerich Knoll (the first), in the 1950’s, transitioned from his family’s business of restaurants and started buying vineyard plots behind their home and restaurant in Dürnstein. Over the next couple of years, he bought some 15 hectares of land and began farming and making wine. His great grandson and current owner/winemaker, Emmerich III, is well regarded as one of the best winemakers in all of Austria. Emmerich III took over from his father (the 2nd Emmerich) at a fairly young age and unlike many other young winemakers didn’t immediately seek out to modernize the wines. Tradition rules here at Knoll and it makes the wines better – and the wines are stunning. Stunning for their recognizable label of St-Urban but also, and more importantly, for the complexity that is crafted into each wine. There is a care and love and precision at Knoll that isn’t easily found elsewhere – it’s those factors that lead the Knoll’s to be called one of the best two wineries in all of Austria.
What It Tastes Like
I’m not gonna fool you: if you have no interest in aging wine then you should just move on – this wine is built on the need to age it. Right now it is austere and nearly unenjoyable but that doesn’t mean I haven’t taken out the handy-dandy crystal ball and seen the wines future. The future is bright for this wine – give it 10 years to sort itself out and then you’ll wish you’d bought more. I see it rounding out as it takes in oxygen; smoothing and polishing out the jagged crunchy acids, taming the harsh and astringent tannins. Taking the well under-ripe peach and building that all into a more enjoyable grilled peach/honey combo too. The Austrian’s here in the Wachau have a neat system for organizing their wines … Steinfelder, Federspiel, and Smaragd: the easy way of looking at them … Young, Middle-Age, Old – that’s when you should drink them. It’s less of an overall quality indicator like Good, Better, Best and more of a hierarchy of aging potential. It’s a neat system and once you get the basics down is easily translated across different producers. Steinfelder: Drink ‘em young, Federspiel: Drink in in 10 years, Smaragd: Wait for … like 8+ years. At any rate, this wine is truly gonna soar with time. If you like things like White Burgundy and older Riesling: put a couple of these away – you’ll be glad you did!