2014 Nikolaihof Wachau Riesling Steiner Hund

Year: 2014
Appellation: Wachau
Country: Austria
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 96
James Suckling: 98
Wine Enthusiast: 96
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
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"From hard primary rock soils with just a very thin layer of humus, the shining citrus-yellow colored 2014 Steiner Hund Riesling is clear, deep, pure and flinty on the discreet but subtly intense, complex and refined nose with its hidden floral, herbal and refreshing stony aromas. Full-bodied, pure and highly elegant on the palate, this Kremstal Riesling is lush and full of energy and vitality. Its finish is vibrantly fresh and persistently salty. This is a highly promising, Smaragd-styled Riesling in a purely mineral style. No hints of botrytis. Bottled in September 2017. Tasted at the Nikolaihof in Mautern/Wachau, September 2018." (WA)

"Like its remarkable Vom Stein counterpart, I tasted this wine after it had been racked to tank, a few months before its December 2017 bottling, then again from bottle in the course of 2018. The penetrating nose is dominated by white peach, white currant and lime, anticipating the brightly juicy palate impression. But suggestions of crushed stone, bittersweet iris, clam stock, radish, kelp and smoky black tea add increasing intrigue as the wine opens to the air and is worked over in the mouth. There is underlying firmness but also a suggestion of silkiness born of lengthy lees exposure in cask, and the sense of levity, remarkably, is that of a typical Nikolaihof Federspiel more than of a Smaragd. The vibrant finishing influx of alkali, crushed stone, iodine, mineral salts, mustard seed and white pepper is almost savagely intense, practically stinging – taking matters in an at once mouthwatering and invigorating but also slightly austere direction. Here’s further proof for any who remain skeptics that the 2014 vintage – its challenges and vicissitudes notwithstanding – has at its very best delivered some of the Wachau’s and neighboring Lower Austria’s most exciting and potentially ageworthy wines of the past two decades. Tasting the outstanding 2013 alongside, this 2014 came nipping right at its heels: attention au chien!" (VM)

"A huge dried apricot nose. In spite of the power this is super-elegant with a very long, radically mineral character that makes the wine swell in your mouth at the amazing finish. It may be too dry for some, but I find this spectacular. Drink or hold as long as you dare!" (JS)

"The beeswax, wet stone, hayflower and dried lemon notes on the nose of this wine suggest development. Its dry, slender yet concentrated palate has a weightless fluidity that echoes with eloquent beeswax and citrus oil flavors. The combination of lightness and beautiful depth make it so intriguing and moreish. Subtle, lovely, taut and fresh, it's nowhere near its peak. The finish reveals a brilliant dash of mandarin. Drink 2028–2040." (WE)