The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

2005 Wachau Gruner Velt­liner Fed­er­spiel Ter­rassen UL­TIMO Wine Cen­tre in Syd­ney (voted the city’s best wine store in 2007) has an ex­cep­tional range of Aus­trian wines from lead­ing pro­duc­ers. Three that stand out from the 2005 vin­tage are FX Pich­ler Gruner Velt­liner Loib­ner Berg Smaragd ($69.95), Und­hof Salomon Ries­ling Re­serve von Stein ($39.95) and Do­mane Wachau Gruner Velt­liner Fed­er­spiel Ter­rassen ($29.95). FX Pich­ler is gen­er­ally re­garded as the great­est pro­ducer in Aus­tria, and the prices of his wines re­flect that. Salomon is a per­sonal favourite, the wines al­ways hav­ing a clar­ity and fo­cus that has a dis­tinctly Aus­tralian ac­cent (he has a sep­a­rate wine­mak­ing busi­ness in Aus­tralia at Cur­rency Creek that makes only red wines, so don’t read too much into the com­ment). If you want a per­spec­tive into Aus­trian ries­ling, Salomon is a good start­ing point; if you want to look at gruner velt­liner, the Fed­er­spiel of Wachau is def­i­nitely the best bet. Fed­er­spiel is the light­est­bod­ied of the gruner velt­lin­ers, of­fer­ing more fi­nesse than some of the big­ger wines, which need un­der­stand­ing. Im­porter Cel­lar­hand (pa­trick@cel­lar­ has the blue-blood wines of Prager, Franz Hirtzberger, Em­merich Knoll, FX Pich­ler and Do­mane Wachau avail­able na­tion­ally. www.ul­ti­mowine­cen­ James Halliday

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