Austrian wines are mostly dry white wines (often made from the Grüner Veltliner grape), though some sweeter white wines (such as dessert wines made around the Neusiedler See) are also produced. About 30% of the wines are red, made from Blaufränkisch (also known as Lemberger, or as Kékfrankos in neighbouring Hungary), Pinot Noir and locally bred varieties such as Zweigelt. The country is also home to Riedel, makers of some of the most expensive wine glasses in the world. Some of the best producers of Austria include Weingut F.X. Pichler and Weingut Franz Hirtzberger, Weingut Hutter, Weingut Eigl and Wellanschitz.
- Item #: i_311317Bottle Size: 1LCharm and value typify these wines. Clean, cultured-yeast wines with lots of primary fruit, yet aging superbly. There's some land on the Gedersdorf plateau that's planted to red varieties. All the wines are made dry, of course. They use cultured yeasts to get slow fermentations and to preserve the utmost CO2. Berger is all stainless steel, of course.
Wine maker notes: This smells just like Zinfandel except more seductive and inviting; indeed it smells like the kind of Zin no one’s making any more since tout le monde started chasing fortified wine levels of alcohol. This is all cloves and blueberries; wonderful length of sweet fruit and ripe soft tannins; elegant poise of power and a sort of luscious solidity.
- Item #: i_372384Bottle Size: 1LThis is a fun and delicious project from sisters Birgit and Katrin Pfneisl. In addition to making wine with their father and uncles, who run the family estate in Austria, the sisters also farm their ancestral vines in Sopron, Hungary. From the outset, their Hungarian wines contrasted sharply with those from Austria. Organic farming, old vines and wild fermentation, all contribute to the finesse of their wines. They're lighter, prettier, less structured, more aromatic, so we were happy to discover Birgit and Katrin's increasing involvement in the Austrian estate. This Austrian red is composed of 100% Zweigelt grown in the Burgenland area. The grapes were macerated and fermented in stainless steel. The wine has an almost Beaujolais-like freshness, raspberry fruit notes and just the right amount of acidity on the finish.
- Item #: i_311873Bottle Size: 750mlJAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS A rich style of gruner veltliner with a great combination of exotic fruits and white pepper. Rich and fleshy on the palate with a lot of power at the textural finish. Drink or hold. Stuart Pigott.
- Item #: i_307462Bottle Size: 750MLJAMESSUCKLING.COM - 98 POINTS Brundlmayer's Lamm gruner veltliner used to run at up to 15% alcohol, but I much prefer this cool and reserved interpretation of the site at just 13%. Serious concentration of wild herb character, then the very clean, incredibly long finish make this a stunning wine. Slightly funky (from reduction), this will be better from 2018. Stuart Pigott.
- Item #: i_307463Bottle Size: 750mlBründlmayer uses only organic fertilizers in their vineyards, and cover crops are planted between rows. During harvest, multiple selections through the vineyard are made, as botrytis is never accepted. Grapes are never de-stemmed or crushed, and they are handled as minimally as possible. A tiny portion of grapes are held back, de-stemmed and macerated for 12 hours; Willi uses these as ‘seasoning’ during blending to add another dimension and tonality to the final wines.
Tasting Notes - "The entry to a lofty world of greatness, this “basic” wine from a truly great Riesling vineyard. (It’s sort of like going to the best concert ever but sitting in the back…) In any case, I buy it for my own cellar and find all that I need for rejoicing. The ’16 emphasizes a mid-range, toasted nutmeg and cinnamon, trumpet mushrooms just as they start to caramelize in the pan; the top notes are a bit nebulous but the mineral is more tangible. Lovely now, this wine is very much en-route." -Terry Theise
- Item #: i_307461Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE - 90 POINTS The 2017 Kamptal Gruner Veltliner Terrassen is stunningly flinty and reductive on the pure, elegant nose. This is a pure, fresh and mineral Veltliner with a long and juicy finish and stimulating salinity. Wow, this is one of the most exciting Veltliners you can find at this price point. In fact it's an archetype of the Kamptal with all its herbal, floral and most of all coolish, elegant expression. Salty and lush on the highly stimulating finish. Tasted September 2018.
Well matured, green walnut, elder flowers and citrus fruit, some cereals, nuts and cornflakes, very dry and fresh with quite some body and structure, also hints of leafy and peppery spice, rye bread and malt. A light bouquet of fresh green grapes, pome and stone fruit, classic Kamptal loss type with some mineral backbone mouthwatering finish.
- Item #: i_372014Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90From sandy loess and weathered primary rock soils the 2016 Gruner Veltliner Federspiel Kreutles opens with a clear and aromatic bouquet of ripe, yellow-skinned apples. Medium-bodied and refreshingly piquant, this is a lean and elegant, straight and piquant, dry Veltliner with grip and lovely ripe-apple flavors in the finish. Very elegant and authentic.
- Item #: i_372015Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS A stunning, expressive Riesling, with good tension between the powerful acidity and flavors, displaying violet, peach, lime and bitter almond notes. Sleek and vibrant, combining finesse with power. Floral in character, this merges elements of magnolia and saffron on the kaleidoscopic finish. Drink now through 2026. 81 cases imported.
The Emmerich Knoll estate is perhaps the most famous and well regarded in Austria’s Wachau. Knoll has holdings in the top vineyards around Loiben as well as the Grand Cru of Pfaffenberg in Kremstal, an impressively steep cliff located just where the Danube bends toward the town of Krems.
A warmer site, great for ripening and for exuberance. This Riesling is the highly prized, terraced section of vineyard just above Kreutles as the slope becomes more intensely steep.
- Item #: i_322292Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR - 93 POINTS A graceful, aromatic version, with aromas of spice and rose water and flavors of nectarine, clementine and coriander. This is lithe and slim yet complex and flavorful, delivering a lot of pleasure right now, but with the ability to age gracefully over the next decade. A saffron note emerges on the finish. Drink now through 2026. 35 cases imported. –AZ
WINE ADVOCATE 91+ POINTS The 2016 Durnsteiner Riesling Smaragd is the former Loibner Oberhauser, so the single vineyard has been downgraded to a village wine with the 2016 vintage but will always be sold as Smaragd. Coming from a terraced vineyard on crystalline bedrock, the 2016 has a clear and flinty bouquet with fresh vegetal, almost peppery aromas. On the palate, this is a clear, fresh, pure and elegant Riesling. It is lean and terribly fresh, full of minerals, grip and tension. The finish is pure and salty and displays white peach fruit aromas in the aftertaste. A classic, very characterful, finessed and age-worthy Riesling from the Wachau.
JAMES SUCKLING - 94 POINTS "Rippling with apricot, but still very young and lively, this is a dry riesling that could win over a chardonnay addict thanks to its ripeness, succulence and moderate acidity. A long, relatively supple finish. Better from 2018 and will mature for at least another 15 years."
FALSTAFF - 93 POINTS Bright yellow-green. Fine white tropical fruit, hints of passion fruit and pineapple, mineral nuances. Juicy, balanced, fine fruit sweetness, well integrated acidity, it sticks well, well developed, fine apricot fruit in the reverberation. "/ Feine weiße Tropenfrucht, ein Hauch von Maracuja und Ananas, mineralische Nuancen. Saftig, ausgewogen, feine Fruchtsusse, gut integrierte Saurestruktur, bleibt gut haften, gut entwickelt, feine Marillenfrucht im Nachhall."
- Item #: i_322456Bottle Size: 750mlWe were wowed by our second Top Austrian wine, made of the variety St. Laurent, a black grape long thought related to Pinot Noir. Made by family biodynamic producer H. & M. Hofer, the wine is Austrian, but feels entirely Burgundian on the palate. Captivating scents of ripe red and black cherries, forest floor and earth, make for an inviting nose. More aromatic black cherry resides on the palate, smooth, ripe but still beautifully fresh. The wine is rounded out by good structure and bright acidity to provide a backdrop for the precisely drawn, gloriously pure fruit. It's elegant and authentic.
Importer Terry Thiese: As long as he keeps having it, I'm a keep selling it, cuz the wine is beautiful and keeps getting better. It's become Burgundian and entirely delicious, plummy and porcini-ish, and I guarantee you it's a "WTF is this?" kind of wine.
- Item #: i_307464Bottle Size: 750mlLiquid Air Conditioning in a bottle! A cool white for hot nights.
Looking for a gluggable, chuggable, carefree sipper to get you through the hot August days and a long Indian summer? Did we mention it's also Certified Organic and comes in a Liter bottle?
The Hofer HUM 2017 Gruner Veltliner was an instant hit in late Spring when we first introduced this dry white to our customers. It shows well with pear, lemon, and then a spicy endnote, which, in Gruner Veltliner, is often described as white pepper. It matches well with fish, chicken, dishes with tomatoes and spicy foods. It was perfect this summer for a dinner served with fresh sauteed fava beans. This wine also drinks amazingly great on the second day after being opened.
Gruner Veltliner is Austria's signature white grape, and has become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years. It has become the love of the Sommelier set, making its way onto restaurant wine lists because of its food pairing versatility. The 2017 Hofer is clean, bright, sunny, has sound complexity and is all of $15.99 and that's for a Liter (1L), which is one-third more than a standard bottle of wine (750 ml). But honestly, this is a serious white wine that we wouldn't mind paying $25 for, since it effortlessly punches above its class. It also makes for a light quaffer at 12.5% alcohol.
The Bioweingut H. & M. (short for Hermann and Maria) Hofer from Auersthal, Weinviertel, is one of the pioneers of organic agriculture. Since the 1990s, cellar master Hermann Hofer manages his vines according to organic biological guidelines, since 2001, he operates a controlled organic agriculture by the group Bio-Ernte, whose standards exceed EU guidelines for organic grape growing.
Wine reviewer, Stephan Reinhardt for The Wine Advocate is also a fan of the Hofer winery and writes - "Based in Auersthal, just 20 kilometers away from Vienna 's northern suburbs, Weingut H. und M. Hofer farms 20 hectares of vines, mostly Gruner Veltliner (53%). Seventy percent of the production is white and all of the vineyards are cultivated organic in a fairly dry microclimate and on loess soils. Hermann Hofer aims to produce "unique and distinctive wines" that reflect their soils, the climate and the vintage, as well as the people who manufacture them. The winemaking is rather conventional. The handpicked grapes are pressed after some hours on the skins, fermented in stainless steel and result in classic Weinviertler wines. The Veltliners are especially worth a try. They are very clear and fruity, fresh and well structured, and finish with a stimulating minerality. These are serious wines with food that do not cost a fortune, rather the opposite."
- Item #: i_331142Bottle Size: 1LZweigelt is an Austrian classic. This variety was created in 1922, when Dr. Fritz Zweigelt crossed two grapes - St Laurent and Blaufränkisch.
The wine offers delicate strawberry, cherry and floral aromas. On the palate it is medium-bodied, lively and refreshing, beautifully balanced. A long and pleasant finish. Enjoy as an aperitif or with any light fare with friends.
- Item #: i_342384Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS Angerer's 2017 Gruner Veltliner Kies is very clear and aromatic on the nose, with its fresh, ripe, elegant white fruit. Juicy and salty-piquant on the palate, this is a very clear, mineral, well-structured and persistent Veltliner with good grip and tension. Very fresh but with substance. Drink young! Tasted in Vienna, September 2018. Stephan Reinhardt.
Named for the gravel soil (kies) in which it grows. Aroma of limes and apples, spiced with pepper, lively acidity. The palate is light, with light lemon notes and easygoing, reviving freshness. The dry finish is wonderfully clean. Sustainably grown, from 30-35 year-old vines.
- Item #: i_311869Bottle Size: 750mlDating back to the 13th century the Mauritiushof was originally used by monks to collect the grapes. Since 1799 the building has belonged to the Gritsch family who started the tradition of wine pressing. Today this heritage stands as a commitment for the future to cultivate this tradition. Our wines are synonymous with the unique soil and microclimate of each individual vinyard. These special qualities yield great wines that are based not only on the traditional craftsmanship, but also on the unique philosophie of our family.
Presents an infinite range of aromas (pure stone fruit, blood orange) – from its depths, concentrated and forceful. A contest between richness and finesse. Its bright mineral notes reveal the white marble typical of the vineyard soil in the glass. Riesling for purists! Will become a truly great Riesling!
- Item #: i_372360Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 91+ POINTS The 2015 Blaufrankisch Samt & Seide is pure, fresh and spicy as well as concentrated and minty on the nose: a picture book Blaufränkisch from the Spitzerberg! On the palate, this is a rich and generous, sweet, lush and juicy Blaufränkisch with firm and fresh tannins and a long, aromatic finish with some plummy flavors. This is a warm wine from a hot and dry vintage. Tasted in Vienna, September 2017. Stephan Reinhardt.
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Very pure and lifted notes of red cherry are held tightly within a taut frame: the nose gives almost nothing away. The palate provides another glimpse of that hauntingly delicious, almost sublimated cherry note. There is something aromatic and pure, unforced and honest about this disarming wine. The structure is subtle but firm, the elegance borders on the Pinot-esque, thus the wine is slender but profound. The winery is transitioning to organic.
- Item #: i_302986Bottle Size: 750mlThis crisp, Provence-style Rose from W. Muller is clean, dry and delightful. Hints of berry fruit appear, followed by citrus. Made from the red grape, Zweigelt, this is a quality small-production Rose what would pair well with Seafood, Cheese, or Poultry dishes.
- Item #: i_372094Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ENTHUSIAST - 91 POINTS Savory yeast and white pepper inform the pear and lemon notes on the nose. They carry through on the palate where their fluid unity, helped along the very slender dry palate by bright lemon freshness is most enticing. A rollicking, if light little wine with a lip-smacking finish.
- Item #: i_322055Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS The 2015 Gruner Veltliner Tradition has a golden-yellow color and opens with a clear and complex bouquet of vegetal and greenish flavors over a deep fundament of ripe and concentrated fruits as well as the crystalline minerality of the Renner where the Tradition has been sourced. Full-bodied, round and rich but transparent, with a firm mineral and good phenolic structure, this is an elegant, still very young but age-worthy Veltliner with a long finish that reveals a certain creaminess or richness along with vegetal flavors. This is a great wine with food. Tasted July 2017 at the Domaine.
- Item #: i_362338Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Peach and grapefruit flavors hold court in this focused white, picking up accents of floral, apple and mineral. Intense and long, with a vibrant aftertaste echoing the complex flavors. Silky texture. Drink now through 2025. 650 cases imported."
- Item #: i_362339Bottle Size: 750ml
WINE SPECTATOR - 90 POINTS "SMART BUY" Very appealing, with a jolt of electricity from the acidity fueling the peach, white raspberry and ground ginger notes. Tobacco and white chocolate accents linger on the long, pure-tasting finish. Drink now through 2026. 4,440 cases imported.—A.Z.
WINE ENTHUSIAST - 91 POINTS - Yeast, miso and green pear make for an appetizing nose. The evident spritz on the palate makes these flavors pop even more in the mouth where lemon freshness and white pepper frame the lovely pear fruit. This is slender, dry but very expressive.
This dry white soars with a bouquet of elderflower and lemongrass. Crisp on the palate, with a light, mineral finish.
Terry Theise note: "Yup, a plus. It shouldn’t be this good, and yet! It’s a parfait of lilacs, wisteria and tarragon, it has energy, focus and flow, the wine is almost creamy yet it’s lavish and light, cheerful and accommodating, a wine in high spirits, up for anything. It is, honestly, impossible to imagine anything better for this price."