Tasting Austrian Whites

WEINGUT CHRISTIAN REITERER (Western Styria/ Steirmark): Rose from Styria like none other.

WEINGUT TSCHEPPE AM POSSNITZBERG (Leutschach): Morillon maybe Chardonnay but is made differently. Stainless steel and no Malo-lactic. This house does a mean version. Lean at start but builds weight as it goes. Vom Czamillonberrg 08 is a stunner: dried mushrooms, porcini and truffled, some fruit, apples…no woody dominations. Great finish. For €19.75 is a steal!WEINGUT LUDWIG EHN (Niederosterrich/ Kamptal). they do a traditional Gemischter Satz. Great mix of 7 grapes. Lovely wines.WEINGUT MANTLERHOF (Niederosterrich/ Kremstal) : One of the best GruVee I have tasted this time. Pear, apple and spice mark the Lossterrassen. The complexity is spell-bounding.WEINGUT A. & F. PROIDL (Niederosterrich/ Kremstal) :  Lovely charming and exuberant wines. Cultured yeast is not employed and slow fermentation is the rule for this wine. The greatest capital of this winery is its extremely steep vineyard situated right next to a river.WEINGUT SEPP & MARIA MUSTER (Leutschach/ Southern Styria): Like a mouthful of 

flowers. That’s the Gelber Muskateller. The morillon doesn’t show the oak inspite of

their birth being there. But the higher Graf Morillon does, unfortunately. Natural yeast fermentation, makes it appealing.And then comes with the mad one. Made in 600l amfora, covered with soil, crushed by feet, low sulphur, chardonnay-sauvignon mix….deep unfiltered yellow, grapey at first, think leather, rich rich polished leather. OMG, liquid leather, like having horsesaddle for breakfast. Not the hangover wine. different but likeable. A red wine in white skin!WEINGUT WOHLMUTH (South Styria): Since 1803, this company has been exporting their produce to many countries. Appley Pinot Blanc. Like their individualised labels, done by artists.The single vineyard Steinriegel is 78˚ steepness, pure slate…talk about suffering… yet the vines are 50years old. Or young! The wine is vibrant and light. Check out the mouthfeel on that one! Rich and mineral, and clean: thank god for no oak.Then the SV Pinot Grigio: 600L tanks and a year of ageing included: great package.Gelber Muskateller is also a killer bone dry baby. More fruit than flower. Peach, says my friend. I agree. Explains why their Gewurz is Guava. No rose, litchi version. The palate shows some Gewurz-ness but it has a great structure and definition.

WEINGUT GROSS (Steirmark/ Southern Styria): The company states that it is due to their sustainable vineyard practises that their wines have clean and strong varietal characteristics. Hyped. And liked. Fruity at the base, oaky at the High-end. Well executed but a bit international for my liking.WEINGUT HANS TSCHIDA: One of the top producers of sweet wine in Neusiedlersee. Their wines have always likeable, always fun. Balanced and boisterous. The schilfwein with 310g of RS manages to pull it off. Complex loooong raisins and nuts finish.Then they bring out the red sweet wine: zweigelt schilfwein, reduced strawberries on a rhubarb bed. Mmmm mmmm.WEINGUT DER POLLERHOF (Neidrerosterreich/ Weinviertel) : Frau Mayer GruVee is the classic. Story and wine. Creamy and appley.

WEINGUT BRUNDLMAYER (Niederösterreich/ Wachau) : Willi Brundlmayer, the man behind the winery, has been impressing the wine-lovers with stunning wines since 1980s. The vineyards follow sustainable viticulture with complete abstinence of herbicidal use. Not a fan of the Kamptaler Riesling, or GruVee but the Lamm version knocks me dead. Gorgeous. Crisp and refreshig and reassuring. Heiligenstein, holy stone, hell’s stone for me, is weighty. Creamy yet crisp, lovely richness. Impactful. The 2007, after the 2008, is only heavier. These guys sure don’t take their wines any less seriously.WEINGUT SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG (Kamptal region) : With the management in the hands of much celebrated vintner Michael Moosbrugger, the winery has a story to tell. The company is responsible for finding new advancements in winemaking practices in the country. These Kamptal guys have been doing it for centuries, hence the ease of execution. Great GruVee. Ripe, rich, striking. Their style is very elegant, subtle even if a bit heldback.

WEINGUT MARKUS HUBER (Niederosterreich/ Traisental : Young winemaker Marcus Huber’s winery has won many accolades. These include Best White Wine Producer at the London Wine and Spirit Competition, Falstaff Newcomer of The Year and the name ‘wunderkind’ by UK Decanter Magazine. Erste Lage is the local equivalent of a cru. Great stuff. All wines show typicity and character. excellent wines, from the comfortable to the complex. The Berg vineyard is great and the wines from it will age and age.WEINGUT JURTSCHITSCH-SONNHOF (Niederosterreich/ Kamptal) : Three brothers, Edwin, Paul, and Dr. Karl Jurtschitsch are responsible for marketing, viticulture, and vinification in the company. They have been following organic viticulture for decades now. If you can pronounce it, you can have it. And have it again. Great stuff! The alte Reben heiligenstein is deadly good.

NIKOLAIHOF WACHAU (Niederosterreich/ Wachau) : They age wines like a holistic duty; till it needs to be. They seem to get into every corner of your palate as you sip them. A ’99 riesling, federspiel, creates silence, the respectful kind. Mad good. and that doesn’t even come close to justifying just how good the wine is. Then, just as I coming down to ground, a ’93 GruVee. Nose seems to be coming apart a bit, mouth is fine.WEINGUT EMMERICH KNOLL (Wachau). The winery has been held responsible for many cult wines in the past few decades. With age-worthy wines, the company is also a good producer of late-harvested and sweet wines. Love the labels but that doesn’t discount the wine. The selection range is called vinothekfullung: Boy the spice is nice, so so nice. Also so apparent and so rich. The real taste is in 

the finish. Smaragd means 13.5% alcohol. The wines are so distinctive you could pick them in a lineup. They have a vineyard ried schutt…meaning to throw away… It was used to store discarded stones. The wine is anything but. Super rich spicy Riesling. The Auslese smells like fine tea!WEINGUT ALZINGER (WACHAU) : Leo Alzinger, quite and an introverted man, has been producing commendable GruVee and Riesling for long now. Peculiar nose, as if a tad cooked/stewed. Palate is dry and mineral but something seems amiss.WEINGUT FRED LOIMER (Niederosterrich/ Kamptal). Oenologist-owner Fred Loimer is known as a ‘quality maniac’ in the wine trade. He was awarded as the ‘Vintner of the Year’ in 2002 by Falstaff Magazine. His Riesling Steinmassl 2002 won ‘Dry Riesling Trophy’ at the International Wine Challenge. Always a favourite, always wonderful and a delight.BIOWEINGUT DIWALD (Neiderosterrich/ Wagram). One of the first organic vineyards. 30 years. Special labels, mae by an utalian artist. Wild yeast. The wines are nice, different too. Yummy single vineyard Rieslings.

WEINGUT RUDOLF RABL (Neiderosterrich/ Kamptal): The name of the winery comes from the father-son couple named Rudolf Rabl. The wine project Kamptal at best and have carried on the tradition since as late as 1750. The Liss (from Loess) is distinct and plays well. Basic but stylish and exclusive. The Weisses Kreuz is more exotic: GruVee clone 144 is responsible. Spiegel is a rich wine, good varietal character. Very juicy and rich. The vinum optimum is a mix of grapes with different soil types. Loess, primary rock and clay (last 2 25%). Mix the grapes and skin macerate. All natural yeast spontaneous fermentation. The kaferberg is crisp, especially the ’09 tank sample, and manages to show pedigree. “G.” is a fun wine, naughty and fun. The name is ambiguous but the wine is serious and spot on. Riesling Vinum Optimum is toffee fruity, very bon-bon. Schenkenbichl is a tough name, but learn it, you will use it often. The wine is to die for.

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