I first had this wine, the 2013 Falkenstein Riesling about a month ago. It was one of those wines that lingered in my thoughts even after several days. Purity, beauty, powerful but balanced flavor – these things, to my mind, anyway, can do this sort of thing, affect me for well after I’ve had the wine. Such is the case with this lovely wine from the sustainable winegrowers Franz & Bernadette Pratzner, in the picturesque Venosta Valley in Alto Adige.
Farming is done mostly by hand, natural grasses are left as cover crops, from what I could sense/taste on the palate, there’s an added richness from oak, but the oak seems to be older, and maybe even a combination of smaller barrels and larger casks. It should be said that the oak is in good harmony with the other components, and that some of the richness comes from plenty of dry extract, and likely some extended lees contact, too.
And even though Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir are also grown here, it’s Riesling that’s the star (it’s fully 7 of the 12 hectares under vine). It was just a generation ago that Franz and his wife converted the family’s apple and peach orchards, and decided to grow wines. Their approach from the beginning, to respect nature by finding a natural balance in the vineyard ecosystem is evident in the purity of the wine. And while some may be taken by the impressively rich style, there’s an equally compelling sense of place, and variety, too as the aromas are classic (more Rheinhessen than Mosel, if you will) Riesling.
As an added bonus (for me, anyway) all of the wines are produced under screwcap. Bravo, Franz!
My tasting note, and some additional pictures of the winery and farm follow, but if this producer is not yet on your radar, you’d do well to find some of this very delicious Riesling.
1 January, 2018 2013 Falkenstein Riesling – I’d first tried this about a month ago, buying just one bottle. I liked it so much, I bought four more at the next opportunity. I’m already thinking I’d like a few more, but the 2014 and 2015 are out and maybe I need to find some of those, instead. That said, I’ll be sure to visit their stand at this year’s VinItaly, and maybe even schedule a visit to Naturno/Alto Adige, as well. About the wine, the straw>golden yellow hue, its bright, clear package is classy and cheerful. Sure enough, there’s a good level of fruit on the palate, but it’s dry; the additional extract is supported by a good level of fresh acidity. Flavors and aromas are on the citric, soil and white fruit side of things – though there is a tropical feel about it, too. A lovely mouthfeel and a med>med+ finish complete the package. In summary, this is very well-grown, and it’s clear to me that the winemaker has a skilled hand in the cellar, too. 13,0% abv., drink over the next 4-5 years. Excellent as an aperitvo or with a meal. A solid value, and a fun wine. recommended+