Domäne Wachau Riesling Smaragd 2001

Domäne Wachau is a label formerly used by the cooperative Freie Weingärtner, now being run by Roman Horvath (Vineyard Manager) and Heinz Frischengruber (Winemaker).  The grapes are grown in the western portion of the Austrian Wachau, where the wines are known to be crisp and ageworthy.  This particular riesling is classified Smaragd, a word for the lizards that live in the vineyards, and stands for the most rare and full-bodied of rieslings.  The other classifications are Steinfeder, a word for grass, and known to be lighter, and Federspiel, a word for the noise a falconer makes to his bird, known to be a bit fuller. 

It is a bone dry, pale gold Austrian Riesling of great quality for the price (normally $24, end of bin for $7.99 at Binny's).  The wine has some whetstone and floral scents along with great minerality and citrus on the palate.  It is creamy with crisp acidity, full body, good spice, and a moderately long finish.  Great buy, even at normal price- WG 91 pts.