Kuenhof Valle Isarco Riesling Kaiton

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Kuenhof Valle Isarco Riesling Kaiton

The world of wine blogging can be a fickle mistress, one day you’re swamped in enotecas for your autograph, cheered and back slapped, the next you’re attacked with a Parma ham (on the bone) for dismissing a paisans favourite grape. As many of you know, wine geekery is not my formal training, I am actually a full blown net nerd paid to work in SEM/SEO, that little talent helped elevate this blog and the keyword Italian Riesling atop the Google rankings and my cheerful raspberry to Italian Riesling continues to top my e-complaint list.

So, just two years later and after one suit and several beatings, I have decided to write about another Italian Riesling and this one, the Kuenhof Valle Isarco Riesling Kaiton from the Alto Adige is nothing short of scrumdiddly (winespeak for “on par with anything from Franken).

The Kuenhof estate, run by Peter and Brigitte Pliger is located just outside the town of Brixen (70% of the towns population are German speakers) or Bressanone as we shall call it and just a short distance from the Austrian border. This 4 ha vineyard in the South Tyrol holds the honour of producing Italy’s northernmost wines. As such, the wines at the Kuenhof estate are Italian only in postcode, growing grape varieties you’d expect from the Austrian vineyards across the way. Strangely, grapes do not respect international borders and so it comes to pass that some of the worlds finest and best value Gruner Veltliners, Rieslings, Sylvaners and Gewurztraminers come from this part of the Alto Adige and the Kuenhof estate.

Kuenhof Valle Isarco Riesling Kaiton, like all the Kuenhof wines from this tiny estate is produced in small numbers. Considering the quality of this wine and the small scale production these wines are hotly priced. The Sylvaner (as you could guess) has the largest production but still comes in at just under 11,000 bottles per year. The wines are also well received with Gambero Rosso year on year with the ’07 Sylvaner taking the Tre Bicchiere and still we are getting change from a €20? You can buy the wines directly at the vineyard for closer to the €10 mark.

So, onto the Kuenhof Valle Isarco Riesling Kaiton itself. At the beginning of this week I was in Venice and along with a chum shared a bottle of the ’08 vintage sat next to the Rialto bridge feasting on seafood risotto as the the mosquitos, in turn, fed on me. I’m sure the location and late evening sun helped but this was perhaps the most elegant, lengthy and pure Riesling wine I’ve tasted from any region. No one made me say that. Honest. No one.

Kuenhof Valle Isarco Riesling Kaiton 2008BUY – €19
A light golden colour in the glass. A focused and stylised wine with some herbaceous and mineral notes, even a little orange peel on the nose. The palate is concentrated, lustrous and coating with a long finish. This is one of those wines that is almost a little one dimensional but does that one dimension so well that it’s a good thing! (that makes sense) 90 Points

Where can I buy this Wine?
Karadarshop.com – €19

Leave a Comment
What is your favourite thing from Austria? Apart from this wine… which isn’t.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. winesleuth says:

    I think the wine went to your head…the “most elegant” riesling you've ever had? I remain extremely sceptical, have you never had quality GERMAN riesling? hmm? Looks like me and the Winerambler have our work cut out for us 🙂

    You're invited to our next winetasting which should be coming up soon…. (if I'm not sleeping with the fishes)….

  2. Have I ever had quality GERMAN riesling! You cheeky biatch! :p

  3. Amy B. says:

    I have personal bias for Riesling, because …well, it's really only the wine I like.. or fine. Maybe that's only one of the few wines I've tried.. Obviously I still have a lot to learn about wines.. hehe, let alone the taste of different kinds of Riesling. Hm. anyways, thanks for the post. I'd love to share this to my wine drinker friends in Foodista, hope you don't mind! Just add the foodista widget for riesling at the end of this post, and that should do it! Thanks and keep on posting xx

    Cheers from Australia,
    Amy @ Foodista

  4. Anonymous says:

    It was nice to read this post and a few of your others. I have read similar titles but the authors were too biased.
    Thanks.x90p workout

  5. Riesling the best wine, ever!

  6. Austria is becoming an increasingly important wine-producing country in central Europe with an annual production of about 30 million cases, 30% more than Germany.

  7. DENICE says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. Information provided by you is useful, apart from this I am looking for a good gift for my sister on her wedding anniversary. I am thinking to give her wine club membership as she loves wine. One of my friends suggested wine clubs . They have wide range of wines like red wine, Italian wine & white wine. Do you have any idea about them or else you can suggest me some another gift.

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