The Rarest Austrian Riesling? FX Pichler Unendlich

Posted by CrushWine

The Rarest Austrian Riesling?
F.X. Pichler "Unendlich" - 2006, 2007, 2008
A Mini-Vertical of a Legendary Ghost-of-a-Riesling

"Unendlich" translates to "never-ending" - a reference to the unimaginable lengthof this wine, and certainly not the quantity available.

Indeed this is among the rarest Austrian Rieslings; so far as I can tell, we are the only retailer in the U.S. with so much as a bottle. More importantly though, the "Unendlich" is, year in and year out, among the absolute greatest dry Rieslings.

Today we proudly present a mini-vertical of this Master-Riesling - the efforts of many years, a whole lot of digging and a healthy dose of luck. This is a bottle that is normally "gifted," in ones and twos, to only the top restaurants and a handful of retailers.

For any serious aficianado of Austrian Riesling, you glorious, curious, most passionate tribe (I proudly count myself among you), this is a bottle you should try at least once, though open with caution and be prepared for a serious addiction. (The bottle sheds the normal green label for what I think is one of the coolest labels around, see below and/or click here for the full story.)

If F.X. Pichler's Riesling Kellerberg is the most finessed, most mineral expression in the stable, the "Unendlich" adds flesh and depth to this same focus and super-fine elegance.

I still remember, very clearly, my first "Unendlich" - a tiny pour of the 2006 on a cold winter's night in the garden behind Trestle on Tenth. The wine had been open 24 hours and it was still absolutely stunning (thank you KoA). Razor-thin layer after razor-thin layer of crystalline fruit, glossy shards of green apple, pear, apricot, peach, mango and more. An absolute Wagnerian-orchestra at full pitch, yet also with a crystal clear detail.

This wine has such depths to offer, and the presentation is in constant evolution. Full reviews for each vintage are below.

This is a wine that's not quickly forgotten and for me, it sparked an obsession.

The only true comparison I can think of - both in terms of grandiosity and rarity - is Klaus-Peter Keller's G-Max. As with the G-Max, the source of Pichler's "Unendlich" is never exactly revealed, though unlike the G-Max, it does change according to the vintage. As Schildknecht reports, the 2006 was largely sourced from the big-dog Loibner Berg site - the 2007's etched detail is a result of its being sourced mainly from the Steinertal (though only the best grapes closest to the terraces, thus ripening more fully from the heat/light reflected off the stones themselves).

Quantities, as you can likely imagine, are super-limited. For the Austrian scholar, a near-unforgettable gift would be the mini-vertical itself - a single-bottle foray into three vintages of this incredible dry Riesling.

We will take all orders and then allocate as generously as we can, but please understand all orders are subject to confirmation!

To order, email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Joe Salamone
Wine Buyers
Crush Wine & Spirits




F.X. Pichler Never Ends

2006 Riesling Smaragd "Unendlich"

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David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Riesling Smaragd Unendlich comes (like last year’s version) from the Loibenberg. The Pichlers elected to start putting Smaragd on the label to forestall questions about the style of the wine, although arguably the Unendlich bottlings have tended to inhabit a stylistic world of their own. Supremely opulent but free of heat, this 15% alcohol Riesling offers apricot preserve and marzipan flavors on its creamy palate, yet tastes dry. A bitter note of apricot kernel offers welcome contrast. As dense as this is, it is probably going to show additional complexity with time, and arguably could age well for over a decade, the effect today is almost overwhelmingly rich and texturally alluring."

2007 Riesling Smaragd "Unendlich"

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David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate: "The Pichler 2007 Riesling Smaragd Unendlich is focused on fruit from Steinertal, blended with Loibenberg (which has been the star of previous Unendlich bottlings), representing virtual Auslese concentration achieved by bunches on the insides of each terrace, close to the stone walls. Ripe apricot, brown spices, and toasted nuts mingle with bitter fruit pit and dark chocolate for a low-toned, exotic, clearly botrytis-tinged palate display. Where this year’s Kellerberg and Steinertal bottlings were bright and kinetic, this is darkly hued, but not without springs of vivacity. For opulence and creamy richness as well as sheer density it is hard to beat, but here alone in this year’s collection there is a hint of finishing heat (from 14.5% alcohol). Time will be needed to fully assess this, but I would want do so within 4-5 years."

2008 Riesling Smaragd "Unendlich"

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Stephen Tanzer's IWC: "Medium green-yellow. Aeration brings an intense, pure essence of peach and apricot lifted by finely chiseled slate; not a trace of botrytis here. Truly a multifaceted gem in the mouth, shining brightly with sweet stone fruits, a mouth-watering lemony component and flinty minerality framed by vibrant acids. An extraordinarily long and complex finish suggests that this wine is just at the beginning of its great career. Drink through 2028."

The 2006 and 2008 are pre-arrival; the 2007 is in stock
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