Federspiel is the Wachau designation for middle harvest wines, maximum 12.5% alcohol through natural fermentation.
High-lying terraces and valley sites comprising weathered soils are behind this elegant, unobtrusively fruity Riesling. A minerally wine with plenty of fruit and vibrant acidity.
100% Riesling from high-lying terraces planted on rocky soils and gneiss.
Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks for 14 days, before racking off lees and settling.
Maturation for a further 7 months in stainless steel, before bottling.
Rudi Pichler is among the elite growers of the Wachau producing wines of precision, power, and longevity. The cellar is based in the village of Wösendorf where generations of Pichlers have tended vines since 1731. Rudolph Pichler, III took over the winery in 1997 and has since expanded the vineyards and constructed a modern cellar in 2004. He was awarded Falstaff’s Vintner of the Year in 2010.
Rudi's credo is, 'I'm a wine caretaker not a winemaker,' placing the intensity of work in the vineyards at the foundation of his philosophy. Rudi wants vineyard and varietal expression to be as clear as possible so yields are kept low between 30 and 35 hectoliters per hectare with harvest and botrytis carefully removed by hand. Grapes are crushed by foot and receive between three and 36 hours of maceration on the skins depending on the vintage and style. Vinification is entirely in stainless-steel tanks and malolactic fermentation is avoided. The resulting wines are pure, dense, and taut with energy.
Picking for this was very late for its genre, but in the high-elevation terraces that dominate this bottling, must weights remained very modest, resulting in what a time traveler visiting from the 1980s would recognize as normal Federspiel and I perceive as delightfully buoyant yet palpably extract-rich. Aromatic notes of spruce resin, celery seed and marine minerality set the stage for a palate impression of fresh lime brightness. Resinous pungency, alkalinity, zesty piquancy, stoniness and salinity lead to a finish that would count as austere were it not simultaneously so mouthwatering and its acidity so animating.