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All Kracher wines make a forceful statement, and the 2006 Illmitz Pinot Gris is no exception. It is a lively, expressive wine that bursts with energy. In the aroma one senses the marvelous purity of fruit that the Krachers extract from their grapes, but that's not all. The 2006 Illmitz Pinot Gris contains more than a hint of minerality and a pleasant underpinning of spice, too, in the form of clove, nutmeg, and the entrancing perfume of the Levant. Moreover, this wine becomes especially expressive after a little aeration. On the palate, the 2006 Illmitz Pinot Gris exhibits pure fruit, a racy, textured feel, and a long, bright, satisfying finish. We suggest chilling the Kracher Illmitz Pinot Gris to 35°-40° F before serving, and then tasting it at various temperatures as it warms in the glass. The wine undergoes several enjoyable and intriguing metamorphoses as it approaches room temperature, which you will surely not want to miss. Enjoy!
Although bright and beautiful on its own, the 2006 Kracher Illmitz Pinot Gris is a natural companion to food and an especially fine partner to typically hard to match dishes. Austrian schnitzels, white asparagus in a creamy rich Hollandaise Sauce, and just about any grilled fish that is served with a sauce containing cilantro or other singularly distinctive spice are all good bets with the Kracher Pinot Gris. A wide range of Asian specialties provide splendid companions to Kracher's Pinot Gris, too. Some of our favorites are Mango Chicken, Kung Pao Scallops or Shrimp, and Sichuan-Style Pork. Fresh spring rolls and Vietnamese style noodles provide additional complements. A spread of soft or crusted cow's milk cheeses offers another superb companion. The latter is an especially fine way to end a splendid meal.
As one drives south from Vienna into what was once the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the very heart of the Old World, one still encounters the very same quaint farms, charming villages, and the great shallow lake that forms Austria's border with Hungary – Neusiedler See. Neusiedler See or the Sea of the Viennese as it is more commonly called is a favorite vacation spot for Austrians on holiday and for Viennese looking for a simple weekend respite from the weather stained cares of life in the big city. Neusiedler See is also the only steppe lake in central Europe. Moreover, the lake's moderating effect on climate makes it a natural location for the cultivation of the vine, a practice that dates back to the early Middle Ages and, perhaps, even into antiquity.
The area around Neusiedler See is more commonly referred to today as Burgenland. It is the warmest and most prolific of Austria's wine regions, due in part to the Neusiedler See's tempering influence but also to the mixture of the area's soils: black earth, fine sand, and loose gravel that allow for the cultivation of a wide variety of grapes. Around the shallow shores of the lake, which are conducive to noble rot, the production of great sweet wines predominates. However, as one moves away from the more humid shoreline, the preponderance of noble red and white grapes for the production of some of Austria's finest dry wines begin to dominate. Here, Alois Kracher Sr. and his son Alois Kracher Jr. produce several of Austria's most compelling dry and sweet wines from Austria's extensive assortment of grapes.
The production at Kracher is small and the allocation list long, as is the case at nearly every good Austrian winery today. The situation at Alois Kracher is a microcosm of wine making in Austria; Kracher is both a family affair (father and son fashion the wine) and an expertly run facility that routinely sells out of all of its wine. Typically, Alois the Elder (now a septuagenarian) spends most of his time in the vineyard; while Alois Jr. tends the cellar. And what emanates from this wonderful winery is nothing short of mind boggling. The Krachers fashion a dozen or more distinctive wines every year, including a rare and delicious Pinot Gris, another dry white wine that they refer to as "Days of Wine and Roses," at least two traditional red wines, and a bevy of sweet dessert wines. All of the Kracher wines bear the unmistakable energy of their architects as well as a distinctive freshness and purity that are rarely seen in other producers' wines.
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