Medium straw color; pear, apple, mango, lemon, almond, spice on the nose; green apple, lemon, pear, peach, mango, papaya, white pepper, minerality on the palate.
Almost bone dry (1 g/L RS—0 g/L RS is bone dry); light-medium body; racy acidity. Crisp, clean, fresh. Silky in the mouth. Impressive, lingering finish delivers a herbal zing and food-friendly saline notes. Fermented in temperature-controlled vessels to preserve clarity and brightness of the fruit. Aged on the lees in stainless steel to develop character and depth. Can have a very slight fizz, although that vanished moments after the pour in the bottle I sampled. 12% ABV
Domäne Wachau manages 30% of the historic Wachau vineyard area—almost 1,000 acres—including half of Austria’s most iconic vineyard, Achleiten. The winery is led by Master of Wine Roman Horvath. His team works with a collection of growers committed to quality assurance. That is no surprise. Austria imposes very stringent wine regulations, and the Wachau region goes beyond those regulations for Steinfeder, Federspiel (this example), and Smaragd. Furthermore, the Wachau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site stretching along the banks of the Danube. Many of the vineyards—such as Domäne Washau are steep and terraced with very old, dry stone walls. This is a special wine from a special place.
Domäne Washau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Terrassen 2020 is clean, balanced, fruity easy drinker. An excellent example of Austria’s signature white grape—yes, grüner veltliner, not riesling. Exceedingly excellent food wine, as is dry riesling which it compares with. The name works against it, so just look for grüner and don’t worry about your German pronunciation.
Serve well chilled. Works by itself on deck or poolside. Wonderful food wine, as is grüner’s wont. Pair with seafood and fish; baked or roasted poultry; traditional wiener schnitzel (a national dish of Austria); risotto; potato soup; potato and cucumber salad; vegetarian fare; cured meats, charcuterie board. Cheese— appenzeller, bucheron, chevre, sheep-milk feta, gouda, havarti, mahon, pave affinois—if a cheese pairs with riesling, it will pair with grüner. If you are into surprising friends who are not sophisticated about wine and wine-food-cheese pairing, this is go-to wine to spring upon them. Also, some grüners are sealed with a crown cap—a beer bottle cap—instead of screw top or cork. That adds to the WTF moment. This is worth a try, trust me on this. Excellent QPR (quality-price ratio). $16-19