2016 Prager Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Ried Achleiten Austria

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About the Wine

Franz Prager, co-founder of the Vinea Wachau, had already earned a reputation for his wines when Toni Bodenstein married into the family. Bodenstein’s passion for biodiversity and old terraces, coupled with brilliant winemaking, places Prager in the highest echelon of Austrian producers.

Smaragd is a designation of ripeness for dry wines used exclusively by members of the Vinea Wachau. The wines must have a minimum alcohol of 12.5%. The grapes are hand-harvested, typically in October and November, and are sent directly to press where they spontaneously ferment in stainless-steel tanks.

Achleiten sits east of Weiβenkirchen and is one of the most famous vineyards in the Wachau. The steeply-terraced vineyard has existed Roman times. Some sections have just 40 cm of topsoil over the bedrock of Gföler Gneiss, amphibolitic stone, and slate, or “destroyed soil,” as Toni Bodenstein prefers to say.

Winemaker Tasting Notes: Prager’s stylistic signature is that of aromatic complexity coupled with power and tension. High-density planting and long hang times ensure ripe fruit flavors and concentration, yet allowing leaves to shade the fruit lend vibrant aromatics of grasses, herbs, and wildflowers. Minerality is a constant feature of any Prager wine.


Masses of dried herbs on the nose, plus white pepper and green plums. Then, a complex interplay of ripeness and creaminess on the palate with discreet tannins and elegant acidity. Long, intensely mineral finish.”~94JS

Riesling-like white peach and lime are joined by snap pea, honeydew melon and golden beets for a lusciously ripe yet brightly juicy, crunchy , intriguingly earthy performance on a silken palate. Incisively peppery, alkaline and shimmeringly stony impingements serve for stimulating and fascinating counterpoint on a vibrantly sustained finish strikingly transparent to cooling green herbal accents as well as bittersweet, iris-like inner-mouth perfume. ~94VM


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