“This is the first vintage of this wine and shows phenomenal depth and power. Full body, chewy and focused. Tannic yet polished. Love the chocolate and currant flavors. A blend of 95% merlot/carmenere and 5% cabernet sauvignon.”
“Aged 20 years now, the 1997 Ried Achleiten Riesling Smaragd shows a golden-yellow color and opens with an intense and nicely aged bouquet of mature Riesling, with concentrated apricot and lovely floral aromas. Full-bodied, pure and fresh, with vibrating minerals and a firm tannin grip, this is an intense and concentrated dry Achleiten Riesling with a long, pure, salty, aromatically complex and slightly minty finish. The well-structured finish shows some delicate bitter notes that might come from the aging under natural cork, which adds some tannins and makes this a perfect Riesling with food. It is powerful but with no hints of either sweetness or creaminess.”
“Dried sage and thyme notes are underscored by a ferrous minerality in this elegant, finely-knit red, which is maturing gracefully—silky and seamless—with date and preserved strawberry fruit, followed by abundant ground clove and anise, espresso and citrus peel notes lingering on the finish.”
Full ruby-red. Deep aromas of cassis, black cherry, menthol and chocolate, lifted by a minty nuance. Very smooth and fresh, with its juicy dark fruit flavors enlivened by elements of crushed stone, eucalyptus and spicy oak. Relies as much on its acidity as on its tannins for structure and balance. Not a powerful style but this sexy Cabernet is full of life. This wine began its life a bit compact, noted winemaker Alejandro Vigil, and still comes across as slightly clenched compared to most of the subsequent vintages. But it's a distinctly claret-like drink.
Bright red. Cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, and cloves complicate the ripe red cherry and plum aromas on the sweet ripe nose. Enters fresh and vibrant, then suave and multilayered, with a spicy mineral underpinning to the rich red fruit flavors. Finishes creamy, with still youthfully chewy tannins. This knockout wine is drinking beautifully right now but ought to keep for another decade or so in a good cellar. Those who prefer very ripe bold wines will score this even higher than I do.
For top vintage Taurasi wines, Kerin recommends the MASTROBERADINO Radici Taurasi Riserva 1997 and praises the Mastroberardino winery for producing excellent, age-worthy wines: “The Mastroberardino firm, pioneers in Taurasi production, has proven that the longevity isn’t just speculation. A few years ago, I tasted 20 of the winery’s Taurasi bottlings, back to the extraordinarily spry 1934, and can confirm Taurasi’s remarkable aging potential.”
“The 1997 Coniale is a fascinating wine especially for those of us interested in watching the evolution of Cabernet Sauvignon from the hills of Chianti Classico. This wine represents the second vintage of Coniale made by winemaker Alessandro Cellai. The wine has definitely maintained its grip and its power. You still get a sense of the vibrancy of the fruit at the back. But there are also budding aromas of cured meat and old spice that underline its age. This is a beautiful ensemble and a wine that is experiencing a particularly happy moment in its drinking window right now.”
Rudi Pichler - Vinography
Grüner Veltliner Ried Hochrain Smaragd
“Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of wintersweet blossoms and a hint of paraffin and chamomile. In the mouth incredible wintersweet florality mixes with a crystalline minerality that is jaw-dropping. Gorgeous acidity and balance, with a faint savory bee pollen quality lingering for ages through the finish. Utterly compelling, deep and resonant, like the gong in a mountain monastery reverberating through the entire silent winter valley. (9.5 out of 10)”
“Youthful bright ruby-red. Very refined aromas of rose petal, raspberry, sour red cherry and tar on the enticing nose. Rich, dense and suave, showing a pronounced minerality to the raspberry, delicate spice and licorice elements. Multilayered and deep, finishing long and smooth, with a whiplash of bitter chocolate flavor. While 1997 initially had growers and producers worried due to a cold winter, a short and rainy spring, and an extremely hot early summer, this vintage has turned out be a great success for Mastroberardino.”
“Hot, dry season. Dark ruby. Very rich and ripe and round. Glamorous but maybe not as refined as the 1998. Classic vintage in terms of typicality perhaps. Even a hint of licorice. Bit of char.” (18 out of 20 points)