The 2006 vintage in Austria was quite a tricky one with a fantastic result.
A hot year with a long ripening season meant that some producers were hesitant to leave the fruit on the vines for fear of frost and/or other damaging weather conditions, but those who took the risk were heavily rewarded.
Nevertheless, the vintage left many with a lot of questions. How would the wine age? Would the wine age at all? What is the typicity one might expect from such a haphazard vintage?
With a long winter to start with high humidity, the weather continued to surprise vintners: a cool, wet spring, a warm, dry July, a wet, cool August… the vintage was quite stressful. Thankfully, the harvest was dry and warm which allowed for the later ripening of top varieties and vineyard sites.
From the 2006 release:
To differentiate simply between “good” and “bad” wine vintages really doesn’t hold much weight anymore. Some years require extensive efforts, while other years are sublime because of ideal conditions and a smoothly flowing vegetation process. Today, flexibility in know-how and care are the key to any vintage – particularly when it comes to dealing with fickle climate conditions or extracting high quality grapes from a very challenging year overall. And 2006 has been one of those vintages demanding from wine growers highly meticulous vineyard care – but rewarding them with grapes that are healthy, ripe and of high quality.
While some celebrated the vintage as “pure gold” others were still not so sure and an examination at this years VieVinum revealed that the vintage was really a “winemakers vintage”… meaning that the characteristic of the wines really depend on the producer.
1 Emmerich Knoll Riesling Loibenberg Federspiel 2006
2 Nikolaihof Riesling Vom Stein Federspiel 2006
3 Johann Donabaum Riesling Offenberg Smaragd 2006
4 Karl Lagler Riesling Steinporz Smaragd 2006
5 Domäne Wachau Riesling Singerriedel Smaragd 2006
6 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Singerriedel Smaragd 2006
7 Franz Pichler Riesling Harzenleiten Smaragd 2006
8 Rudi Pichler Riesling Kirchweg Smaragd 2006
9 Hans Schmelz Riesling Steinriegl Smaragd 2006
10 Karl Holzapfel Riesling Vorderseiber Smaragd 2006
11 Domäne Wachau Riesling Achleiten Smaragd 2006
12 Roman Jäger Riesling Achleiten Smaragd 2006
13 Ilse Mazza Riesling Achleiten Smaragd 2006
14 Josef Jamek Riesling Klaus Smaragd 2006
15 FX Pichler Riesling Kellerberg Smaragd 2006
16 Emmerich Knoll Riesling Schütt Smaragd 2006
17 Fritz Hutter Riesling Loibenberg Smaragd 2006
18 Leo Alzinger Riesling Steinertal Smaragd 2006
The wines were showing beautifully and each represented its own character. Our guess is that most of those shown that day have plenty more life in them! We will just have to stay tuned to find out.