Why it pays to age these exceptional wines from the Wachau...
Leo Alzinger’s Rieslings: wines for the future!
The sensational vintage 2017 is already sold out. The 2018 Rieslings from Leo Alzinger will not remain available for very long… so it is a good idea to act quickly and replenish one’s supply, because Weingut Alzinger in the Wachau is not only considered one of the most important white wine producers in Austria – as the current rating in Wine Spectator indicates – but has long been renowned as a source for marvellously expressive & extraordinarily ageworthy Rieslings.
Well educated sommeliers know: Leo Alzinger, the sensitive vintner of Wachau offers Rieslinge und Grüne Veltliner, which need some years of aging before showing their beauty and strength fully. © Thomas Kirschner
No question: the growing desire of restaurant guests for matured white wines poses a new challenge for sommeliers. Especially where Riesling is concerned, wine connoisseurs are more frequently not demanding the most recent apricot-scented release, but rather seeking out bottles that after five to ten years in the cellar have developed complex secondary aromas and a sense of nobility.
Leo Alzinger: Unterloiben, Wachau, Austria
Leo Alzinger cultivates some of the best vineyards in the Wachau. Steep slopes, barren soils, exciting expositions favoured by cooling winds from the adjacent Waldviertel create conditions which bring some of the most outstanding Rieslings in the world to life.
Wachau: Fantastic scenery and unique terroir for the wines of Leo Alzinger. © Thomas Kirschner
Riesling lovers can devote substantial time & energy to the debate, which of the Alzinger vineyards is the best. Liebenberg, with its tightly-knit flavour profile of stone fruit? Or the creamier, blossom-scented wines from Hollerin? In Höhereck, salty-mineral notes couple themselves with the stone fruit, while the wine from the famous Loibenberg – with its cool, elegant minerality – is truly moving & enchanting. Finally, the Steinertal Riesling can be somewhat austere in its youth, and only over the years develop complex, even generous, fruit with a spicy/mineral backbone.
The 2018 vintage
For Rieslings, 2018 was ‘anything but easy’. Arid conditions and an extremely precocious vegetation cycle kept winegrowers on their toes. So it is all the more amazing, what Leo Alzinger has achieved in his top sites: wines of cool elegance & finely grained minerality – a taster would hardly suspect that a 2018 Alzinger Riesling came from a warm year.
Leo and Katharina Alzinger are always happy to welcome you at their winery and show you around the vineyards. © Thomas Kirschner
Alzingers Rieslings – wines for sommeliers
Riesling is a great companion to fine dining, but certainly not a simple one. Sometimes the acidity is a challenge, and sometimes the wine is just too delicate. It depends very much on how youthful or how mature a Riesling comes to the table, and which aromatic profile the bouquet currently presents in its current stage of development.
The Rieslings of Leo Alzinger have proven themselves in the most prestigious restaurants in Europe, the USA and Asia. That’s exactly where their strength lies:
- Classic fish preparations of French cuisine such as Sole à la Meunière or Filet de Saint-Pierre, matched with a 3–5-year-old Riesling Höhereck, are terrific pairings.
- The Californian lightness of dishes with plenty of vegetables or roast poultry makes a tantalising impression alongside the stone fruit notes of Riesling Liebenberg.
- Riesling Loibenberg has made a name for itself as a stellar companion to Asian wok dishes & Thai curries.
- A mature Riesling Steinertal can open up completely new dimensions for the cheese course. Just to cite a few examples…
What experiences have you had up to now with Alzinger wines?
Perhaps you can send us a photo/description of a dish that you think perfectly suited to a wine from Leo Alzinger…
For more informations and prices please use the following sources:
Italy: Teatro del Vino
Belgium & The Netherlands: Adbibendum
Denmark: Atomwine ApS
Sweden: Ward Wines AB
Great Britain: Alpine Wines
USA: Michael Skurnik Wines
Japan: Fushimi Wine Business
Wachau – Austria
About Weingut Alzinger
Currently in the third generation, the Alzinger family has been active since 1920 producing wine in the Wachau – one of the world’s most renowned viticultural regions, a landscape that in the year 2000 was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list, running some fifteen kilometres along the Danube River from Melk to Krems/Donau. Ever since the 1980s, Leo Alzinger Senior has numbered among the fixed stars of the Wachau Valley’s constellation. Now, son Leo Junior and his wife Katharina continue the work together. Artisanal craft & a sense of origins are the guiding lights for the two, as the family currently cultivates a total of eleven hectares in the small village of Unterloiben at the eastern end of the Wachau, producing Riesling & Grüner Veltliner exclusively. All wines are fashioned by hand; clearly defined single-vineyard wines from the »Rieden« Hochstrasser, Hollerin, Höhereck, Liebenberg, Loibenberg, Mühlpoint & Steinertal.
In 2017, Weingut Alzinger received the architecture prize »Vorbildliches Bauen in Niederösterreich« (Exemplary Construction in the State of NÖ) for the sustainable & sensitive new concept of the wine estate’s new facilities.