2017 Rudi Pichler Riesling Achleithen Smaragd

Wachau, Austria

Outstanding, intense dry Riesling with incredible power and structure.



Great brilliance and minerality, packed into a remarkably sleek package for this grape and the opulent vintage. Then comes the finish that just doesn't want to let go!

James Suckling - 98 Points

About The Wine

The very top of the Wachau Riesling Tree - a great vineyard (Achleithen), from a great producer, made at the greatest designated level (Smaragd).

Achleithen is a designated single vineyard (or Ried, which you may see on the label) - a very steep, south-west facing site of terraced vines on pure rock soils, overlooking the Danube.

Rieslings from Wachau are generally dry but with high levels of extract, so this not an ethereal delicate style but a rich powerhouse full of stonefruit, honey, slate and smoke. Years in the cellar ahead.

Rudi Pichler is a member of the voluntary 'Vinea Wachau' (akin to the German VDP arrangement) and adheres to the strict rules of their system. 'Smaragd' is the top designation for wines with the highest ripeness, the fermented dry - it is named after the emerald lizards that frequent the vineyards.

About Rudi Pichler

The Pichler family have been based in Wachau since 1731, and bought their original cellar in 1884, finally planting their first vines twenty years after that. Today, Rudolf Pichler IV, known as Rudi, cultivates fifteen hectares of vineyard including some of the acknowledged ‘grands crus’ of the Wachau.

The vineyards are spread across the region, with Wösendorf and Joching in the heart of the Wachau Valley where south-facing terraces look down at the Danube River. Rudi produces crystal-clear expressions of Gruner Veltliner, Riesling, and Pinot Blanc from these sites.

“I’m a wine caretaker not a winemaker,” is Rudi’s mantra, placing the intensity of work in the vineyards at the foundation of his philosophy.

The wines Rudi produces are pure, dense, and taut with energy, and thus speak clearly of the terroir in which they emerge from.

The Pichler vineyards surrounding Wösendorf
The Pichler vineyards surrounding Wösendorf
Wachau, Austria
Additional Info

From The Producer

From an extremely steep hillside with southwesterly-exposed terraces and meagre soils of Gföhler gneiss, this is a mineral-driven and pure Riesling, one that epitomises authenticity & identity.

Blend : Riesling (100%)
Closure : Cork
Drink Until : 2032
Bottle Size : 750ml

Rudolf (Rudi) Pichler IV
Rudolf (Rudi) Pichler IV
Wachau, Austria
Expert Reviews

Critic Reviews


"Very complex nose with everything from exotic fruit and pomelo to white pepper, fresh herbs and spring flowers. Great brilliance and minerality, packed into a remarkably sleek package for this grape and the opulent vintage. Then comes the finish that just doesn't want to let go!" - James Suckling (


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