Find out who won the regional trophy for over £10. And the winner is...
Kracher, Welschriesling No. 9, Neusiedlersee 2008 (sweet over £10).
Gerhard Kracher did not have an easy time of it. When his famous father ‘Luis’ died tragically young from cancer in 2007, Gerhard had to slip on the boots of the world’s favourite Austrian winemaker.
As Luis’ only child, he had been well-trained, but overnight, it seemed, Gerhard had to take over making that extraordinary collection of sweet wines that brought fame to the otherwise nondescript village of Illmitz in Austria’s Seewinkel between the Neusiedler Lake and the Hungarian Border.
For a couple of years he had the help of his grandfather – another Luis – in the vineyards, but he too died in 2010, leaving Gerhard and his mother Michaela alone to carry the Kracher flag.
Gerhard has succeeded with aplomb. The estate is small – just a few hectares – but there are plenty of growers out there queuing up to bring Kracher their nobly, rotten fruit. Gerhard’s job then is to vinify it and place it within the ‘collection’.
The range breaks into two halves: traditional style wines aged in acacia barrels called ‘Zwischen den Seen’ (between the lakes – an allusion to the many stagnant ponds in this corner of Austria) and ‘Nouvelle vague’ wines aged in French oak. Number 9 is Welschriesling aged in acacia. Welschriesling (aka Italico, Laski etc) is a victim of its reputation: it can be a steely, sappy variety which achieves real distinction as a nobly, sweet wine.
The 2008 vintage was the first that Gerhard vinified by himself. He has succeeded to perfection.
£36.59 (for the 2005) Noel Young Wines.
www.kracher.at +43 2175 3377
Written by Giles MacDonogh