Rock Dog: Riesling Holy Ground - 2010 Nikolaihof Riesling Steiner Hund Reserve

Posted by Joe Salamone

Rock Dog: Riesling Holy Ground
2010 Nikolaihof Riesling Steiner Hund Reserve
2010 At Its Most Brilliant
When you talk to Austrian fanatics about the best vineyards, you hear the same thing: Kellerberg, Singerriedel, Steinertal and Steiner Hund.

Terry Theise sums up this sentiment nicely when he writes: "The tiny [Steiner Hund] site is doubtless one of the 5-10 greatest bits of land on which Riesling grows."

In short, Steiner Hund is Holy Ground for Riesling.

Steiner Hund

Nikolaihof's Steiner Hund may be the most mysterious (and compelling) dry Riesling in Austria and elsewhere.

Each year, this is one of the one of two or three Austrian releases that we're most excited about and buy for our cellars.

Today, we're happy to offer Nikolaihof's 2010 Riesling Steiner Hund Reserve for $75.95 per bottle.

The 2010 Steiner Hund is one of the most brilliant examples of the vintage in Austria. 2010 was a cool vintage. The Steiner Hund has an amazingly clear and tension-filled mineral spine.

Getting your finger on the pulse of Nikolaihof's Steiner Hund is no easy task. There's always a dimension of complexity, of haunting, mysterious minerality that's impossible to firmly grasp. If the wine has a clear signature, it's a rich and often creamy texture with notes that suggest minerals, flowers and earth simultaneously. The 2010 shows the sterner side of the wine in a very welcomed sort of way.

The Steiner Hund site is a small piece of land that's holy ground for Riesling. The "catch," however, is that this plot of land lies just outside the official boundaries of the Wachau, and as such it cannot have a "Smaragd" designation - so it goes under the cover of "Reserve," meaning simply that it is a wine harvested later and, in this specific case, aged for an extended period of time in older, neutral barrels.

This is one of Austria's most soulful bottles that only gains in fascination and outright complexity with time in the cellar. A bottle of 2004 opened recently was just stunning. We expect the 2010 to age absolutely beautifully.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits