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July 21, 2021 Comments (0) Views: 165 Good Food TV, Good Wine Revolution

Tasting With Winemaker Nikolaus Saahs Of Nikolaihof, Wachau, Austria – Part 1

Wachau winemaker Nikolaus Saahs walks us through a couple of his wines in Part 1 of a two-parter tasting session.

Wachau winemaker Nikolaus Saahs walks us through a couple of his wines in Part 1 of a two-part Nikolaihof tasting session.

 

Having been prepared to taste through my samples of Nikolaihof wines on the day of the Grand Virtual Austrian Tasting last month, I was on the way to the fridge to grab them when I noticed that according to the biodynamic calendar it was what is known as a root day.

In my experience, and probably in my mind more than anything else, I tend to enjoy wines a little less on both root and leaf days, so I asked Nikolaihof winemaker, Nikolaus Saahs if we could possibly reconvene when the biodynamic powers-that-be shone upon us a little more favourably.

Fast forward to last week, and we found ourselves on a Zoom interview on a blessed flower day, and began tasting through four of his family’s biodynamically-produced wines… and for the record, they were showing marvellously.

This is Part 1 of a two-part tasting; look out for Part 2 next week.

If you are having trouble viewing this video please click here.

 

Arriving Fall 2021

Nikolaihof vineyards in Wachau

With almost 2,000 years of history, Nikolaihof is the oldest winery in Austria and one of the first in the world to have begun working by biodynamic principles according to the regulations of the Demeter Association. No herbicides, fertilisers, pesticides, or synthetic sprays are used in the vineyards. The grapes are harvested by hand, fermented without artificial yeast and stored in big, old Austrian oak casks up to 20 years.

Bottle prices below do not include HST (13%) or bottle deposit ($0.20). Wines arrive late Fall 2021. Place your pre-order now!

2020 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug

2020 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug bottle image

ABV: 11%

Residual Sugar: 1g/l

Vineyards: Sourced from multiple sites near Mautern

Ageing potential: 10+ years

Soil: Clay, Loess

Long, slow fermentation in 100% stainless steel, aged 6 months on fine lees before bottling. Nikolaihof’s lightest Veltliner. The perfect aperitif!

$40.95/btl (6pk)


2020 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Zwickl

2020 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Zwickl bottle image

ABV: 11%

Residual Sugar: 1g/l

Vineyards: Sourced from multiple sites near Mautern

Ageing potential: 5 years

Soil: Clay, Loess

Bottled unfiltered. Creamy, fresh & expressive!

“The haze of yeast, a result of unfiltered bottling, really gives this light gruner something special. Nice, nutty apple character with a touch of creaminess from the suspended lees. Bright, crisp finish.” – 91 points, James Suckling

$45.95/btl (6pk)


2020 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Federspiel

2020 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Federspiel bottle image

ABV: 12%

Residual Sugar: 1g/l

Vineyards: Im Weingebirge, Wachau

Ageing potential: 20+ years

Soil: Clay, loess

Aged 6 months in large wood barrels. The Weingebirge is one of the oldest vineyard sites in Europe, first mentioned in 511 AD. The wines from this vineyard are known to have impressive depth and minerality. The soil is varied with loess on the higher terraces and deep topsoil over primary rock lower down the slope.

$45.95/btl (6pk)


2015 Nikolaihof Ried Im Weingebirge Grüner Veltliner Federspiel

2015 Nikolaihof Ried Im Weingebirge Grüner Veltliner Federspiel bottle image

ABV: 13%

Residual Sugar: 2.1 g/l

Vineyard: Weingebirge, Wachau

Ageing potential: 25+ years

Soil: Clay, loess

Aged 1.5 years in large oak barrels and can be stored in bottle for decades.

“Chamomile, hay, artichoke, cucumber, crunchy apple and nearly ripe Bartlett pear combine on a fetching nose and buoyant, silken-textured, infectiously juicy palate, leading to a luscious and refreshing finish. This isn’t the first Hefeabzug installment to have (barely) cracked 12 percent alcohol, but is nonetheless delightfully buoyant as expected. Nor has the extra ripeness of this vintage in any other respect compromised the characteristic virtues associated with Nikolaihof Hefeabzug, the best installments of which can age impressively.” – 92pts, Vinous

$49.95/btl (6pk)


2020 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel

2020 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel bottle image

ABV: 12%

Residual Sugar: 1.6g/l

Vineyards: Vom Stein, Silberbichel vineyard

Ageing potential: 20+ years

Soil: Clay, Danube gravel

Aged 6 months in large oak. Full-bodied and elegant.

“Showing dried lemons and peaches, as well as nuttiness. It’s full-bodied and layered with lots of dried apple, pear and lemon curd with some beeswax. Yogurt, too. Pretty riesling with mature aromas and flavors.” – 94 pts, Wine Advocate

$49.95/btl (6pk)


2011 Nikolaihof Ried Vom Stein Riesling Federspiel

2011 Nikolaihof Ried Vom Stein Riesling Federspiel bottle image

ABV: 12.5%

Residual Sugar: 1.9g/l

Vineyards: Kremstal

Ageing potential: 30+ years

Soil: Clay, Danube gravel

Stored in 7,000L wooden barrels for 6 years.

“Lovely, slightly funky, smokiness on the nose comes hand in hand with baked and bruised apple notes. Crushed notes of yarrow add an herbal frisson. The palate adds a creamy but focused ripeness, well tempered by integrated freshness. It is the texture here that captivates, alongside the complex flavors.” – 96 pts, Wine Enthusiast

$60.95/btl (6pk)


2016 Nikolaihof Ried Steiner Hund Riesling

2016 Nikolaihof Ried Steiner Hund Riesling bottle image

ABV: 12.5%

Residual Sugar: 1.9g/l

Vineyards: Kremstal

Soil: Primeval rock, thin humus layer

Aged 2.5 years in large wood barrels.

“Beeswax, wet stone, hayflower and dried lemon notes on the nose of this wine suggest development. Its dry, slender yet concentrated palate has a weightless fluidity that echoes with eloquent beeswax and citrus oil flavors. The combination of lightness and beautiful depth make it so intriguing and moreish. Subtle, lovely, taut and fresh, it’s nowhere near its peak. The finish reveals a brilliant dash of mandarin. Drink 2028–2040.” – 96 pts, Wine Enthusiast

$86.95/btl (6pk)


2017 Nikolaihof Gutswein Riesling, off-dry, 11 g/l residual sugar

2017 Nikolaihof Gutswein Riesling bottle image

ABV: 13.5%

Residual Sugar: 11g/l

Vineyard: Wachau

Soil: Clay, Danube gravel

This became the Nikolaihof “manor” wine after a natural fermentation stop. Bright and intense on the nose, with aromas of minerality, wet forest floor, sweet peach, white flowers, and a hint of dry bread and honey. It fits perfectly with Asian and spicy dishes due to its light sweetness.

$49.95/btl (6pk)

Arriving Late Fall 2021! Bottle prices do not include HST (13%) or bottle deposit ($0.20). Wines arrive late Fall 2021. Place your pre-order now!

 

 

Nikolaihof are represented in Ontario by The Living Vine.

The Living Vine are a Good Food Fighter.

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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he got such awful sunburn that day at Nikolaihof (see picture to left).

 

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