The Dozen This Month Vol. 27 No. 03

The Dozen – Green Danube

The wine is always Gruner along the Wachau stretch of the historic stream.


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 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

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Roger Morris writes about wine, food and travel for The World of Fine Wine, Drinks Business, Meininger's Wine Business International, Wine Enthusiast and other publications in the U.S. and Europe.

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