The cult of F.X. Pichler is global for good reason: The wines are simply in a league of their own. Each combines tremendous depth and concentration with a penetrating minerality. The 2008 Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Smaragd ($95) is one of the most outstanding Grüner Veltliners I’ve ever tasted. fx-pichler.at.
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Weingut Rudi Pichler
Although they share a last name, the two Pichlers are unrelated. They both make some of the Wachau region’s best Grüner Veltliners, although Rudi’s are more modestly priced. His 2008 Grüners show great promise. The Terrassen Smaragd ($45) is particularly appealing: very minerally and lively, with brisk and refreshing acidity. rudipichler.at.
One of the most important names in the Wachau, Prager is famous for Grüners of great precision and intensity. The winery’s signature, the 2008 Achleiten Smaragd, is bright, focused and gloriously pure ($60). weingutprager.at.
Winemaker Michael Moosbrugger doesn’t own this 18th-century property (it belongs to monks), but he tends to its ancient vines as lovingly as if they were his own. His 2008 Renner Grüner Veltliner ($34) is spicy and rich. gobelsburg.at.