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2020 F.X. Pichler "Unendlich" Wachau Smaragd Riesling

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95-96pts Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

Pichler’s most iconic wine! The 2020 Riesling Unendlich comes entirely from the Kellerberg this year and is based on the more raisined grapes that were picked in the same go with the regular Kellerberg Riesling due to the fear of spreading rot. The bouquet shows intense and dense fruit of ripe and juicy white peach aromas as well as noble raisin aromas. Juicy-piquant, with crystalline and salty acidity, this is a powerful and very concentrated yet rather classic Unendlich with a firm, close-meshed structure. This 2020 is still very, very young, and I am curious to taste this Unendlich again after the bottling and closer to its release in spring next year. Tasted as a sample in June 2021, to be bottled in July and to be released in May 2022. 2020 is the first vintage Lucas Pichler doesn't use the predicates of the Vinea anymore since he left the group earlier this year. (Published 2021)

Estate Summary

The renowned domaine FX Pichler is, for 14 months now, no longer a member of Vinea Wachau. The differences in the ideas about how the Wachau may continue to contest the 21st century in terms of marketing were too great. Lucas Pichler, who no longer uses the familiar Vinea predicates such as Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd, favors classification by origin instead of by body weight or style. It is possible to produce Smaragd wines on the alluvial soils of the plain, but they suggest the highest quality, which is not at all given due to the location and expression. Now Lucas Pichler, with the blessing of his father, Franz Xaver, follows the model used in Burgundy as well as in Germany and at the Austrian Tradtionsweingüter at the gates to the Wachau: The smaller the origin, the higher the quality. So, in addition to the Wachau regional wines, Pichler now bottles village wines as well as single-vineyard wines without Prädikat. As the godfather of luxurious cuvées, FX Pichler freely does not renounce his prestigious brands such as Unendlich and M(onumental). Who could blame him? The Grüner Veltliner Unendlich from the hot 2018 vintage knocked my socks off in the summer. First, because warm weather and Grüner Veltliner don't actually go well together for me, since Veltliner quickly loses acidity when it's harvested highly ripe. And second, because the 2018 takes this prejudice to absurdity and is the first 100-point Veltliner in The Wine Advocate history. However, we do not want to forget the 2019 Kellerberg Grüner Veltliner. It is also a great wine and is only topped by the Riesling Unendlich. The 2019 is brilliant and will continue to develop over the years. Also Lucas Pichler continues on his path, even without an association, but the Vinea has broken a significant prong from the crown that can not be replaced. (Published 2021)

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