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The 2000 Prager 'Steinriegl' Riesling is not your ordinary Riesling, so throw out all of your preconceived notions and past experiences of sugary sweet, cloying wines, which all too often haunt this great varietal ' before you taste it. First of all, Austrian Riesling is nothing like its German counterparts. An enthralling bouquet of apple blossoms and almonds marks this single vineyard Riesling, making it difficult to keep your nose out of the glass. Minerals and spring flowers fill the mouth, but this is no flabby offering; an extraordinary body and depth of flavor explode on the palate. Fruit, liquid minerals, and the zest of lemon form a long, dry finish on the 2000 Prager 'Steinriegl' Riesling, so this wine bears no resemblance to its insipid German cousins. For the record, this is one big boned Riesling, so we suggest you open it a bit ahead to let it breathe, as you would a fine red wine, and serve it moderately chilled.
Both sophisticated seafood as well as more pedestrian vittles fare well with the 2000 Prager 'Steinriegl'. We can suggest several fish dishes we have enjoyed recently; most notably Tilapia, with tomatoes, artichokes, and olives; and Grilled Monk fish, served with a mango and citrus chutney. Both dishes provide excellent foils for the wine, without overpowering it. Country pates and aromatic, full-flavored cheeses also respond well to this spunky Riesling. On a more every day note, chicken salad, tuna salad and fresh ripe fruit make splendid accompaniments to the 2000 Prager 'Steinriegl'. Enjoy!
The Prager winery is among Austria's most famous and most highly regarded wineries. Located in the Wachau, the supremely beautiful section of the valley of the Danube River that lies to the northwest of Vienna, Prager is also one of the largest producers in this very traditional wine region. While this modest sized estate produces only about 100,000 bottles of wine per year, it is quite large by Wachau standards, where the average grower cultivates a plot of less than two acres. However, it is the quality and variety of Prager's wines, which truly distinguish this estate from its neighbors. The Prager estate comprises a mere 33 acres of vineyards, but all of it in prime vineyards, including relatively large parcels of five of the world's finest Riesling crus, including Steinriegl (10 acres), Klaus, Kaiserberg, and Hollerin. These holdings make Prager the most significant estate producer of top quality (smaragd) Riesling in the Wachau. In fact, Prager is the only winery in the Wachau that produces more Riesling than Gruner Veltliner, the more prolific local varietal, a fact not lost on the world's Riesling fanatics who seek out Prager's wines.
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