WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

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WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Salil » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:52 pm

I felt like opening a bottle that would be truly thrilling; complex, layered, worth following over a few hours with dinner and leave me wowed.

Yeah, this was the right call.

This is something really special. Such complexity that cataloguing flavours is pointless; it seems to change every few minutes, showing so many dimensions of fruit, spice, minerality, higher toned floral and herbal elements and faint hints of mature smokiness. The balance is impeccable, it's so light on its feet with a delicate, almost ethereal palate presence, and the presence and length here are amazing.

Wow. Old Nikolaihof can be so, SO good.
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:28 am

I love Nikolaihof, though never aged a Federspiel more than 8 or 10 years. Sounds great
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:43 am

I would not think to age federspiel that long either. Late release likely helps.
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Salil » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:56 am

Apparently it was aged in cask (without sulfur!) for over a decade, then bottled a year or so ago. It still feels fresh and youthful enough that I'll probably put one or two of my bottles into storage and see what happens with 4-5 more years, but it'll be hard keeping my hands off the rest. :mrgreen:
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Bill Hooper » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:23 pm

Agreed. All I can say is WOW! We had this at our company X-mas party this year (along with about 30 other Rieslings) and it stole the show. I think the story is that it was sulphured once after racking, but never again. Nikolaihof is a treasure. I'm shocked that they aren't better known.

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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:09 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:Nikolaihof is a treasure. I'm shocked that they aren't better known.

Cheers,
Bill


How much better known do you want them to be? At least pricing-wise, they seem to be 'fully priced' and not suffering from any lack of monetary value attached to them.
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:18 pm

Small production, moderately high prices (at least for the top wines). I agree - no more better known please.
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:35 pm

thanks, I had missed this, might order a bottle (hey, it's cheaper than the Vinotek!)
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Salil » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:21 pm

Dale Williams wrote:thanks, I had missed this, might order a bottle (hey, it's cheaper than the Vinotek!)

Cheaper and every bit as good.

I love Vinothek, but I don't buy - just don't see it being a step up from Steiner Hund or the Steinriesler, which are both stellar.
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Bill Hooper » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:15 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Bill Hooper wrote:Nikolaihof is a treasure. I'm shocked that they aren't better known.

Cheers,
Bill


How much better known do you want them to be? At least pricing-wise, they seem to be 'fully priced' and not suffering from any lack of monetary value attached to them.


I could be wrong, but it seems to me that even Austria-geeks rank F.X. Pichler, Alzinger, Bründlmayer, Knoll, Prager, and Hirtzberger higher. All fine producers, but c'mon. Nikolaihof trumps them all. Not even close, IMO.

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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:17 pm

Controlling for personal stylistic preferences, I see no evidence that Nikolaihof stands apart from the other top tier producers.
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Bill Hooper » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:26 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Controlling for personal stylistic preferences


And maybe that's just it, but they are certainly the odd-man out stylistically.
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Re: WTN: 1998 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Steinriesler

Postby Salil » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:09 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:I could be wrong, but it seems to me that even Austria-geeks rank F.X. Pichler, Alzinger, Bründlmayer, Knoll, Prager, and Hirtzberger higher. All fine producers, but c'mon. Nikolaihof trumps them all. Not even close, IMO.

Clearly I don't fall into that category of Austria-geeks then, as I don't rank all those producers higher. Certainly not Brundlmayer, and I find FX a bit inconsistent - at times monumental and utterly compelling, at times too heavy handed and ponderous.

But I wouldn't say Nikolaihof trumps them all.

Stylistically, they're unique (but really, of those producers - each of them have their own singular, distinctive style), but in terms of quality, I would put them right there with Hirtzberger and Alzinger in terms of truly great and remarkably consistent producers I always want more of in the cellar. I like Prager and FX a lot as well, but don't buy as much for various reasons. Knoll is lovely, ditto Brundlmayer, but I have never been wowed by those wines in the same way that I am with Alzinger Steinertal, Hirtzberger Singerriedel or Nikolaihof Steinriesler/Steiner Hund.
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