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The September 2022 Auction: Part 4

Auction # 729 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 9/22/2022 6:00:00 PM PDT

Lot #1936. Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Vom Stein 2015

Description: Consists of 1 Bottle, 0.75L
Score: 91 VM.
"Weighing in at just 11.5 percent alcohol, this is brimming with ripe apple and white peach, while scents and flavors of almond, moss, and wet stone add subtle complexity. A smoky, resinous, reductive topnote puts me in mind of hops, while an alluring gentian perfume haunts this entire performance. A palate presence that is surprisingly lush, silken and expansive for a Riesling Federspiel in no way precludes levity, clarity or primary juiciness. Subtle hints of wet stone and moss add intrigue to the lusciously lingering finish, but it will be interesting to discover whether further and more decisive mineral traits emerge with time in bottle. As usual, my latest notes from the Nikolaihof cover recent releases that include wines from numerous vintages. Since I am only rarely offered the opportunity (virtually nobody is at this address) of tasting a sample from cask, it is never possible to get the complete perspective on a given Nikolaihof vintage until 18 months or so after harvest, by which point two Smaragd wines will have been bottled and will join the estate’s early offerings. Even then, you have to wait for the third year to taste the iconic Riesling Steiner Hund (not to mention that bottling can be delayed 15 or 20 years for the occasional “Vinothek” bottling). What’s more, the unique, perhaps literally inimitable style of Nikolaihof wines, coupled with this estate’s relatively laissez-faire cellar approach and staunch, longtime adherence to biodynamic practices, frequently make for collections that are out of step – often deliciously so – with overall vintage tendencies. Having revisited several Nikolaihof 2014s, and tasted their 2014 Grüner Veltliner Im Weingebirge reviewed below, I’d say the estate rendered a very good collection but did not turn in one of that vintage’s outstanding performances. We won’t know how 2014 Riesling Steiner Hund turned out until sometime next year, but since Nikki Saahs reports that due to current limitations on cellar space, some excellent candidates for Library releases are likely to get bottled early, I suspect that nothing from 2014 will have been slated for extremely extended cask maturation. Here’s hoping, though, that he can find room for setting aside some 2015s, because early indications clearly are that this is an exceptional vintage at the Nikolaihof. “Our vines held up well during the summer drought and heat,” reported Saahs, “but nevertheless they merely marked time,” which he suggests explains why the harvest began relatively late by estate standards, namely not until September 25. The aromatic duo of Muskateller and Gewurztraminer – picked in the first days – are unusually juicy and irresistible; the Neuburger is classic; and the ostensibly lesser Grüner Veltliner and Riesling bottlings aren’t lacking for their usual buoyancy and nuanced mineral, floral, and herbal details, even though they display unusually forward fruitiness. (For details concerning this estate’s vineyards, practices and recent history, I recommend consulting the extended introduction to my report that focused on Austria’s Rieslings and Grüner Veltliner of vintage 2013.)" David Schildknecht, Vinous.com, Jun 2016
Notes: Very lightly scuffed capsule, lightly scuffed label.
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Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $20

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