Weingut Johann Bäuerl, "Ried Ritzling" Federspiel Riesling 2017
Deliciously dry Riesling from a spectacular boutique producer in Austria’s famed Wachau region!
Johannes Bäuerl is a small husband-and-wife operation in the charming town of Joching, along Austria’s “Rodeo Drive” wine region in the Wachau. As the Danube river snakes across the northern swath of the country, vineyards cling to riverside hills and terraces, providing sun-catching amphitheaters with steep slopes, moderated by the proximity to the water. In Joching, a charming village on the north bank are several of the Wachau’s most esteemed vineyard sites, called Reids. Ried “Ritzling” is a minuscule site sandwiched between Rieds Pichlpoint and Steinreig, whose first written record traces to 1236.
Most of Bäuerl's tiny production stays within Austria and Europe, so we were overjoyed to obtain this small parcel of his wonderful 2017 Riesling.
In the Wachau, wineries rate their wines according to ripeness, with the understanding that only the finest sites are capable of providing world-class development in this marginal, cool climate. "Federspiel" is one of those classifications, just below the highest category “Smaragd,” both requiring the finished wines to be fully dry – no sugar left at all. This translates to a finely tuned, electric Riesling with pungent starfruit, lime zest, nectarine pit, and saline minerality with a grippingly dry, Szechuan-pepper-like, quivering acid finish.
As with all of Austria’s famed white wines, this beautiful example of single-vineyard Riesling is your secret weapon at the table. Savory, salty dishes like xiao long bao soup dumplings or peppery cacio e pepe pasta are a perfect foil for this dry, zippy delicious wonder. And coming from the beautiful 2017 vintage the wine shows no sign of slowing, so expect those nervy, citrus-and-stone-fruit notes to keep evolving, heightened by the wines electric acidity. Cheers!