Alzinger - 'Loibenberg Smaragd' Grüner Veltliner 2015

$95.00
Sale price

Regular price $95.00

“A whiff of passion fruit lends a tropical overtone to the full-on ripeness on the nose. The palate continues with this swishing, generous juiciness that showcases Mirabelle plum and ripe pear. Structural elements of bitter pith, salty yeast and tingling zest complete the picture of a most concentrated, energetic and driven wine that resonates with life and flavour. This is warm and powerful but beautifully streamlined."

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Alzinger

Leo Alzinger is located in Unterloiben, just across the street from Knoll. Leo owns parcels in two of the great vineyards in this part of the river valley: Loibenberg and Steinertal. Loibenberg is a towering, terraced hillside, while the diminutive (5.5 hectare) Steinertal is hidden and maintains a cooler micro-climate. On the terraced vineyards of both sites, Riesling is cultivated on the higher, more primary rock rich parcels while Grüner Veltliner is cultivated on the lower, silty, loess based parcels.

Leo Alzinger Jr took over the family domaine in 2002 after returning from harvest in New Zealand. Prior to that he traveled to other regions to gain more experience and was fortunate to spend time with legendary winemaker Hans Günter Schwarz just prior to his retirement in 2002.  “The most significant experience came with my work in the Pfalz at Müller-Catoir in the vintage 2000. Hans Günter Schwarz revealed things in the cellar, small details that gave stronger impressions of vineyard and place. He taught me not to be afraid of skin contact, that good grapes will give good phenols, for example. How important work with the lees is and many other things.”

Harvest at Alzinger happens later than some of Leo’s neighbors in Unterloiben, something he attributes to old vines and the specific exposition of his parcels. The extra time on the vine doesn’t increase sugar levels, Leo says, but rather pushes physiological ripeness to greater balance. Alzinger crushes whole cluster with a short maceration, then allows the must to settle for 24 hours, dropping any green tannins out. Tasting the wines next to some of the other Wachau greats, it becomes apparent that elegance and pristine fruit is what Leo looks for in winemaking, rather than opulence. Alzinger’s wines are never forceful or assertive; they are instead amazingly sanguine and calmly transparent.

  • Vineyard area: 11.5 hectares
  • Top sites:
    • Loibenberg: South facing and one of the warmest sites in the Wachau, deep loess on the lower terraces, and stony, shallow, barren soils on the top terraces.
    • Steinertal: Very stony, shallow Gneiss soils, with some loess on the lower terraces.
    • Liebenberg: Amphibolite and mica-schist
  • Soil types: Eroded primary rock, sandy soils with loam
  • Grape varieties: 55% Grüner Veltliner, 40% Riesling, 5% Chardonnay
  • https://youtu.be/YDjsCTeaEJI

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is a white wine grape variety grown primarily in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The leaves of the grape vine are five-lobed with bunches that are long but compact, and deep green grapes that ripen in mid-late October in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Wachau

Veneto is a region in the northeast of Italy. It is the region behind the famous red wines of Valpolicella. The wines of Valpolicella are made in a range of styles from dry and light (Valpolicella Superiore) to medium bodied and complex (Valpolicella Ripasso) to the fullest bodied red (Amarone della Valpolicella) and a sweet red made in a passito style (Recioto della Valpolicella). It is also the home to the sparkling wines of Prosecco.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

“A whiff of passion fruit lends a tropical overtone to the full-on ripeness on the nose. The palate continues with this swishing, generous juiciness that showcases Mirabelle plum and ripe pear. Structural elements of bitter pith, salty yeast and tingling zest complete the picture of a most concentrated, energetic and driven wine that resonates with life and flavour. This is warm and powerful but beautifully streamlined."

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Alzinger

Leo Alzinger is located in Unterloiben, just across the street from Knoll. Leo owns parcels in two of the great vineyards in this part of the river valley: Loibenberg and Steinertal. Loibenberg is a towering, terraced hillside, while the diminutive (5.5 hectare) Steinertal is hidden and maintains a cooler micro-climate. On the terraced vineyards of both sites, Riesling is cultivated on the higher, more primary rock rich parcels while Grüner Veltliner is cultivated on the lower, silty, loess based parcels.

Leo Alzinger Jr took over the family domaine in 2002 after returning from harvest in New Zealand. Prior to that he traveled to other regions to gain more experience and was fortunate to spend time with legendary winemaker Hans Günter Schwarz just prior to his retirement in 2002.  “The most significant experience came with my work in the Pfalz at Müller-Catoir in the vintage 2000. Hans Günter Schwarz revealed things in the cellar, small details that gave stronger impressions of vineyard and place. He taught me not to be afraid of skin contact, that good grapes will give good phenols, for example. How important work with the lees is and many other things.”

Harvest at Alzinger happens later than some of Leo’s neighbors in Unterloiben, something he attributes to old vines and the specific exposition of his parcels. The extra time on the vine doesn’t increase sugar levels, Leo says, but rather pushes physiological ripeness to greater balance. Alzinger crushes whole cluster with a short maceration, then allows the must to settle for 24 hours, dropping any green tannins out. Tasting the wines next to some of the other Wachau greats, it becomes apparent that elegance and pristine fruit is what Leo looks for in winemaking, rather than opulence. Alzinger’s wines are never forceful or assertive; they are instead amazingly sanguine and calmly transparent.

  • Vineyard area: 11.5 hectares
  • Top sites:
    • Loibenberg: South facing and one of the warmest sites in the Wachau, deep loess on the lower terraces, and stony, shallow, barren soils on the top terraces.
    • Steinertal: Very stony, shallow Gneiss soils, with some loess on the lower terraces.
    • Liebenberg: Amphibolite and mica-schist
  • Soil types: Eroded primary rock, sandy soils with loam
  • Grape varieties: 55% Grüner Veltliner, 40% Riesling, 5% Chardonnay
  • https://youtu.be/YDjsCTeaEJI

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is a white wine grape variety grown primarily in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The leaves of the grape vine are five-lobed with bunches that are long but compact, and deep green grapes that ripen in mid-late October in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Wachau

Veneto is a region in the northeast of Italy. It is the region behind the famous red wines of Valpolicella. The wines of Valpolicella are made in a range of styles from dry and light (Valpolicella Superiore) to medium bodied and complex (Valpolicella Ripasso) to the fullest bodied red (Amarone della Valpolicella) and a sweet red made in a passito style (Recioto della Valpolicella). It is also the home to the sparkling wines of Prosecco.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.