Leo Alzinger (11ha)
Unterloiben / Wachau / Austria
Leo Alzinger is located in Unterloiben, just across the street from Knoll. Leo owns parcels in two of the great vineyards in this part of the river valley: Loibenberg and Steinertal. Loibenberg is a towering, terraced hillside, while the diminutive (5.5 hectare) Steinertal is hidden and maintains a cooler micro-climate. On the terraced vineyards of both sites, riesling is cultivated on the higher, more primary rock rich parcels while grüner veltliner is cultivated on the lower, silty, loess based parcels.
Harvest at Alzinger happens later than some of Leo’s neighbors in Unterloiben, something he attributes to old vines and the specific exposition of his parcels. The extra time on the vine doesn’t increase sugar levels, Leo says, but rather pushes physiological ripeness to greater balance. Alzinger crushes whole cluster with a short maceration, then allows the must to settle for 24 hours, dropping any green tannins out. Tasting the wines next to some of the other Wachau greats, it becomes apparent that elegance and pristine fruit is what Leo looks for in winemaking, rather than opulence. Alzinger’s wines are never forceful or assertive; they are instead amazingly sanguine and calmly transparent.
Vineyard area: 11 hectares
Top sites: Loibenberg, Steinertal, Liebenberg
Soil types: Eroded primary rock, sandy soils with loam
Grape varieties: 55% Grüner Veltliner, 40% Riesling, 5% Chardonnay
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