A beautiful back-vintage, ex-cellar bottle from one of Austria's great addresses, Nikolaihof is the fountainhead for Austria's most incredible white wines. Rich with an almost 2,000-year-old history, Nikolaihof was purchased by the Saahs family in 1894, remaining the present-day owners. The key here is an extreme attention to detail in the vineyards, strictly upholding biodynamic practices lead by winemaker Nikolaus Saahs and old-school Austrian techniques in the cellar. Vom Stein is a special section of the Silberbichl vineyard where loess was deposited during the ice age and is one of three prized vineyard sites that Nikolaihof sources. As noted below by Mr. Schildknecht, Nikolaihof, this was put in their largest tank with the intention of holding some back for a later release, and that is what we have here today. These bottles are right from the Nikolaihof cellars, and the extra age has put them in an excellent spot for drinking. A bottle not to miss for the Riesling lover, this is an incredible buy at this pricing for a top wine from Austria's finest.
Vinous (David Schildknecht) 97 points! "In a departure from usual Nikolaihof practice – given that it had by then been filtered and assembled into tank – I was offered my first taste of this wine shortly before the initial, December 2017 bottling. The wine was exciting then, and when re-tasted repeatedly in the course of 2018 had only gained in stature. Moss, lemon zest, peach kernel and toasted grain on the nose put me in mind of a relatively austere white Burgundy. But that sense of kinship dims with the emergence of high-toned hints of lavender and mint, mouthwatering ocean breeze and a sappy, juicy abundance of fresh lime and white peach juiciness on the silken palate. There are also faint hints of kirsch and mothball such as one can encounter from time to time at this address and to whose volatility some tasters might object. The finish is transparent to a veritable carpet of mineral matter – albeit a levitating, vibrantly undulating one! Crushed stone, alkali, mineral salts and iodine combine with herbal and protein-rich flavors for something approximating a blend of oyster liquor and clam stock that set my salivary glands to palpitating. And now for the astonishing kicker: This remarkable stuff filled the largest cask in the Nikolaihof cellar, with a capacity of 12,000 liters! Half was bottled in 2017 and 2018; the rest will be held back – let’s hope eventually to inform a Vinothek offering. “The only sense in which this wine needed to be bottled,” noted Saahs, “was in order to avoid Vom Stein Smaragd temporarily dropping from our price list and to make room in the cellar. It wasn’t the phases of the moon calling the shots,” he added with a sly grin. (Re-tasted alongside, the corresponding 2013 showed at the upper end of my earlier projection. But despite issuing from one of the two finest Wachau vintages that it has been my privilege to taste as young wines, that 2013 doesn’t quite reach the complexity nor exhibit the clarity and energy of this 2014 – not for now, at least.) (Drink between 2018-2030)"