12 October 2009

The Leithaberg Phenom(enon)

If I make a few more posts tonight, I should share with the readership (one, maybe two of you?) that I didn't drink all these wines on the afternoon and evening of October 12, 2009. My notes are piling up; that's all. I need to get some of this down before I start to feel like I've committed injustice to these wines, especially this one: the 2004 Prieler Leithaberg rot from the Burgenland, Neusiedlersee district of far-eastern Austria. I'm not a celebrity chaser by any stretch, but I couldn't help but be amused by my timing...Drove to Pinard de Picard in Saarwellingen on a Thursday (maybe?), picked up some dream wines with the folks (here for a long summer stay), including three bottles of Prieler's 2004 Leithaberg rot (Falstaff's best Austrian red wine of 2004), then headed home to open one. Then went to the Thalia bookstore the next day, stumbled on the latest installment of Falstaff, and to my surprise-well, maybe that's not the best word; I was just flabbergasted by the timing...Silvia Prieler and the rest of the family crowned Winemaker of the Year by Austria's premier wine and all-things-gourmet periodical. There was already enough Sin of Expectation in the air from the previous night, and thankfully before stumbling on this sensational and richly deserved news, the note was writ:

"This smells like a camp fire with bing cherries and plumb roasting on a cedar spit. Really just breathtaking. All the seduction of Pinot Noir is there, the mystery of Sankt Laurent (and really, when you drink truly stupefying SL, you have to wonder How is this not a Great Grape of the World?), and the grandeur, the complexity of Blaufraenkisch. The fruit and the intense spice on the nose literally reach out and smack you. My nostrils are singed-not by alcohol, but by striking intensity. Everything is beginning to roll out on the red carpet right now: pomegranate, blueberry and tangy cran, framed by a satchel full of clove and licorice. Sensational. The whole of this is united; a supremely holistic effort only just beginning to bask in the glories of maturity."

Yeah, I liked it.

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