The Wachau region of the Danube upstream from Vienna is known for its elegant Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings, although I must admit that I like the Grüners a lot more. If you’re rating wines, it’s not hard to slap the mid-90s on some of these wines. We have four Wachaus from Domäne Wachau, which are worth your attention.
This edition of The Dozen also has several nice buys for under $20. Hopefully, by now, Dry January is like a bad memory.
2021 Clean Slate Mosel Riesling ($12). Riesling 101 – nice fruitiness, a touch of spritz, and a rumor of sweetness.
2022 Villa Maria “Private Bin” New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc ($15). Lovely pure green-fruit flavors – juicy kiwi and tart lime – make for a refreshing glass.
2020 Etude Carneros Pinot Gris ($32). Dry but honeyed flavors that linger on the palate blended with notes of whey and savory spices with medium acidity.
2021 Domäne Wachau “Federspiel” Bruck Riesling Spitz ($27). Tart and candied, but not sweet, fruitiness that hits the palate running then quickly fades.
2021 Domäne Wachau “Liebenberg Federspeil” Dürnstein Grüner Veltliner ($27). Great tart, mostly green fruits – grape, lime, a hint of lemon – with some chalky mineral accents.
2020 Beringer “Private Reserve” Napa Valley Chardonnay ($50). A lovely wine for those who lust after toasty and buttery, but it clings to the palate a bit and seems much better with food than for sipping
2021 Domäne Wachau “Smaragd Kellerberg” Dürnstein Grüner Veltliner ($50). It’s almost like a cru Burgundy in taste and quality with firm apple and Asian pear fruits and finishing notes of earth and whey.
2021 Domäne Wachau “Smaragd Achleiten” Weissenkirchen Riesling ($51). More minerally than fruity and with an excellent finish – a good Riesling, but not quite what you might expect from a Riesling.
2022 Borsao Campo de Borja Rosé ($11). Good blend of citrus and apple flavors, slightly tart, lively, medium body, a touch of tannins.
2019 Root: 1 Maipo Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva ($13). Enjoyable red berry flavors with tangy fruit, hints of wood, and mild tannins – lean, but not spare wine.
2021 Librandi Ciro Rosso ($15). Almost rosé in color with nice cherry/savory flavors and a hint of licorice.
2021 Angels Ink Central Coast Pinot Noir ($18). Light-bodied and crisp with spicy aromas and good cherry and cola Pinot flavors
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are shipping directly to consumers, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.
Photo credits: Domane Wachau