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« Landhaus Bacher: Behind 2 Stars | Main | Nigl's Sonoma »

04 June 2006

traditioKnoll

Wgknoll Like FX Pichler, Weingut Knoll is considered to be one of the Wachau's best wineries.  However, in terms of style & philosophy, Knoll is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  The Knoll family, which works as a team, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, adheres to "old timey" vinification techniques such as extended maceration with stems & skins, warmer fermentation temperatures, and extended aging in large inert wooden casks.

On yet another rainy morning in the Wachau, I spoke with Emmerich Knoll, Jr. about the Knoll winery's history, its philosophy and the distinctive Knoll label.  Listen/download the chat here.

Knollcellar_1 Where FX Pichler wines are "juicy and animated," Knoll wines seem brooding & edgy.  I tasted a few of Knoll's 2005 offerings - some of which (the Smaragds) are still maturing in large wooden casks.  To my knowledge, Knoll is the only winery in the Wachau which keeps its Smaragd wines in cask well past the Vinea Wachau association's starting date of May.  Knoll's Smaragds will spend the summer in cask and be bottled in September.

Two Knoll wines to try:
Grüner Veltliner "Vinothekfüllung" Smaragd 2004 (or 2005 when it becomes available).  Emmerich, Jr. describes this wine as Knoll's most user friendly wine.  Indeed, this wine is much rounder, riper and smoother than any other Knoll offering I sampled.

Grüner Veltliner "Loibenberg" Smaragd 2004 (or 2005 when it becomes available).  This wine will introduce you to the Knoll style.  It offers slight, tangy Sherry notes, followed by subtle pear, peach and peppery scents.  In the mouth, Loibenberg is opulently texture, but still maintains the jagged "Knoll edge," which reminds the drinker that there is something a bit different going on in this wine.

Knoll wines are imported into the US by Vin DiVinoMore Knoll pics here.

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