Nikolaihof 1998 Wachau Riesling Steinriesler
Last year the Saahs' released their 1999 'Steinriesler' which was essentially a 'Riesling vom Stein Federspiel' that had been raised in cask for over ten years prior to bottling. The story may sound familiar to those who've experienced Nikolaihof's legendary Vinhotek bottlings, but all those were Smaragd-level wines; this was their first experiment with a Federspiel that had been raised in this way, or so we thought. As it would turn out, they had started the experiment earlier with the 1998 but decided it just wasn't ready to release first. Whether or not you had a chance to try the stunning 1999, you won't want to miss this. "Steinriesler" is a charming colloquial name for the grape variety**, and while the wine certainly has charm, it's also loaded with depth and dimension. Not quite as expensive as the Vinothek bottlings, but every bit as fascinating and delicious. -jfr
**It's been brought to our attention that 'Steinriesler' is, in fact, a portmenteau coined by friend of both CSW and the Saahs family, critic extraordinaire, David Schilknecht. David combined 'Stein' (a reference to both the area's stony soil and the Wachau designation 'Steinfeder') with "riesler," the actual charming colloquial name for the grape variety, and the wine's moniker was born.