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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Best Vertical/Retrospective Tasting of the Year

Kracher Weinlaubenhof, Illmitz, Burgenland/Austria

It was a day or two before Christmas 2015 when Gerhard and Yvonne Kracher and I met up in my favorite restaurant near Hamburg (Fischerklause am Lütjensee). Gerhard took over the direction of the family estate after the early death of his father, sweet wine legend Alois (Luis) Kracher in 2007. We tasted more then 50 sweet and noble sweet wines from the so-called Seewinkel around Illmitz and Apetlon, Lake Neusiedl, where botrytis cinerea is superstar. The highlight of the tasting was the range of Trockenbeerenauslesen (TBAs) that had been produced between 2006 (Luis’ last vintage) and 2013. In fact, not a single vintage of Gerhard Kracher was reviewed in The Wine Advocate. The time to change that was overdue and what better way to apologize than a retrospective tasting of Gerhard’s oeuvre. His wines shined as bright as those of his super-star dad. In the end, I rated three of Gerhards wines 97 or 97+ points. And believe it or not, my favorite TBAs (2008 TBA No 8, 2008 TBA No 12, 2006 TBA No 10) were all made from barrel-fermented Chardonnay—except for one, the 2010 Welschriesling TBA No 11. In a few weeks we meet up to taste his 2014 TBAs… More details about the tasting will be published in the forthcoming issue at the end of April.