Salomon own or have exclusive access to the white grapes on about 35 hectares of prime terraced lands on the banks of the Danube, around the adjoining towns of Krems and Stein ( called the Kremstal wine domaine). Geographically the next adjoining wine area around the bend is Wachau. Much of their land in Kremstal is on steep stone wall supported terraces, with the soil types being either the sandy- clay schist (soft enough that kids have build little caverns in on the roadsides, to play in) or granite.
As a general rule Salomon use the schist soil for the more vigorous growing Gruner Veltliner grapes; reserving the granite to produce the refined minerally Riesling grapes. The top sites used for the reserve Rieslings usually produce as little as 3 bunches of grapes per vine.
Vineyards are not certified organic, but are maintained to retain the natural balance environment, with minimal spraying as needed for mildew or pests. Drip irrigation is used only when needed, to avoid over-stressed vines.
Regulations allow the wines of the Kremstal to carry the DAC classification (subject to the independent tasting panel passing each wine). For a few special wines, the words “Reserve” can be added, provided they pass the taste panel and the alcohol is less than 13% by volume.
The Wines tasted:
As a general observation the whites show beautiful “soft” fruit overlaying minerality, with balance beyond many other producers I have tried on this trip. Their Rieslings generally achieve more ripeness than In Germany, but retain good acidity.
Vintage conditions in 2011 & 2013 produced excellent quality, although each was different. 2011 was more drought like conditions; while 2013 had early rain but long dry ripening for a late harvest. 2014 saw cold and rain reduce the crop to minuscule levels.
Salomon Wieden & Berg Kremstal Gruner Veltliner DAC 2013 – pure fruited, spicy, lemon and lime nose and palate with balancing acidity.
Salomon Wachtberg Kemstral Gruner Veltliner DAC 2013 – Single vineyard wine. Lifted florals. More vigorous fruit, matched by their hallmark minerality. Layers of tastes evolve.
Salomon Von Stein Kemstal Gruner Veltliner Reserve DAC 2013 – more structured with beautiful balance in minerality and fruit. Seamless.
Salomon Undhof Kemstral Kogl Riesling DAC 2013 - Single vineyard wine from Stein schist based terraces. Very floral, white peach spectrum fruit kept in balance by good acidity. A nice step above the very fine introduction level Salomon Stein Terrassen Riesling.
Salomon Pfaffenberg Kemstal Reserve Riesling DAC 2013 & 2011 – Single vineyard site with more Stoney soils and always more wind. Riper fruit in the apricot range matched by the minerality from the stoney soils. The extra age and the dryer weather of the 2011 vintage shows today a still young wine, but with some extra secondary complexity. A beautiful food friendly wine.
Salomon’s Australian wine from Finniss River in Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia:
Salomon Estate Fluerieu Aestatis Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2009 - The top wine in a range of 3 Australian wines. The Shiraz and Mourvèdre from Finniss River and the Grenache from the sandy soils of McLaren Flats. Despite its 14.5% alcohol, this is a beautifully elegant rhone style blend, showing pure fruited cassis, long with silky but present tannins adding enough savory touch. Fresh as a daisy. An outstanding Australian GSM.