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Nikolaihof Riesling Steiner Hund Wachau 2016  - First Bottle


96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
With cacao and crushed stone as well as concentrated peach aromas, the 2016 Ried Steiner Hund Riesling is subtle, refined and complex on the finely spicy yet deep, complex and elegant nose. Bottled in April this year, this is a full-bodied, dense, juicy, well-concentrated and crystalline-mineral Riesling with lots of power and sustainable grip and concentration. Another long-distance runner yet more puristic and grippy than the 2015 or 2013. 12.5% alcohol. Tasted at the domaine in June 2021.
95 James Suckling -
Where do you start to explain this truly amazing dry riesling that doesn't have anything to do with the regular world of wine? Extraordinarily delicate and complex nose that's so far removed from the normal world that a few regular adjectives say nothing about it. But, yes, this is sleek, very dry and mineral on the palate. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drink or hold.

Technical Details

  • BlendRiesling
  • WinemakerNikolaus Saahs
  • CountryAustria
  • RegionNiederosterreich
  • AppellationWachau
  • VineyardSteiner Hund
  • Farming MethodCertified Biodynamic
  • Alcohol12.5%

Nikolaihof Riesling Steiner Hund Wachau 2016

Riesling  |  Austria
WA96, JS95

Certified Biodynamic
35% off retail!

Nikolaihof is Austria’s oldest winery, with more than 2,000 years’ worth of history, and one of the first globally to instate biodynamic practices in accordance with the Demeter Association, a strict and controlled system of eco-friendly farming protocols. The 96-point riesling from the Steiner Hund site just outside the borders of the Wachau is a spectacular Austrian white wine experience. With a level of minerality that will shock you, this is quite possibly an epiphany-inducing experience.

Nikolaihof has been owned by the Saahs family since 1894 and has a deeply rooted philosophy of honoring the earth while showcasing its characters by carefully and painstakingly crafting its portfolio of wines. In accordance with the biodynamic protocols of the Demeter Association, Nikolaihof uses no herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides, or synthetic sprays in the vineyards – instead, they opt for stinging nettle manure, valerian drops, and horse-tail tea as natural measures to care for the vines. Their grapes undergo hand-harvesting, fermentation without yeast, and aging in enormous, old Austrian oak casks in order to develop ultra-pure, pristine, and wickedly fresh wines that leave a generous impression.

The cherry on top is masterful winemaker Nikolaus Saahs’ “one with the vines” approach – one where he’s as hands-on as possible, carefully observing, checking, and tasting grapes throughout their growth to time ideal ripeness for harvest. He prefers to allow nature to run its course, interfering as little as possible while giving the wines time to mature and develop their own natural characteristics and flavors. The result of all of this detailed, thorough work? As the 96-point review from Robert Parker’s Wine Associate put it, this 2016 riesling is “subtle, refined and complex on the finely spicy yet deep, complex and elegant nose...this is a full-bodied, dense, juicy, well-concentrated and crystalline-mineral Riesling with lots of power and sustainable grip and concentration.” Hear, hear!

It was grown on bedrock soils topped loosely with river pebbles and shards of broken base rock. Indeed, this site is known for making some of the steeliest wines in all of Austria. Over four years in barrel, yet fresh as a spring rain, this wine is loaded with dichotomies – dense yet light, subtle but juicy, powerful yet refined. An extremely thoughtful wine that inspires contemplation. Are those peaches? Raw coffee beans? Cacao? Chipped flint? Chalky limestone? The answer would be yes to all of the above – all within subtle, nuanced layers that leave you contemplating even more. Just a lot of fun to geek out on and seriously age-worthy stuff going on here. First Bottle has this at the best price in the country – making this something too special to miss! Grab a few for now, and a few more for the next two decades...and you’ll be sitting pretty with epic Austrian riesling for years to come!

PAIRING IDEAS: There’s nothing like an epic cheese plate alongside a crisp, mineral-laden riesling – go for an aged gouda, tangy chevre, and double-cream brie with some sliced apple and flatbread crackers.

About the Producer

With almost 2,000 years of history, Nikolaihof is the oldest winery in Austria and one of the first in the world to have begun working by biodynamic principles. The grapes are harvested by hand, fermented without artificial yeast and stored in big, old Austrian oak casks. Nikolaihof is one of the most exciting wineries in the Wachau today, ask any serious sommelier his or her shortlist of the best of Austria and Nikolaihof will be on there. It was, at various times, a celtic place of worship, part of a Roman fort, a bishop's seat and an administrative center. History and tradition prevail in these focused, lip-smacking wines.