AUSTRIA

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.

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  1. TEMENT 2017 SAUVIGNON BLANC ZIEREGG GROSSE LAGE

    Item #: i_342389
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 97 POINTS Bottled in late April 2019, the 2017 Ried Zieregg Sauvignon Blanc offers a deep and coolish, spicy, flinty and herbal, very intense but well-defined and elegant bouquet with interwoven fruit, juniper and stony aromas. Terribly deep and spicy, full-bodied and powerful, with great purity, lingering salinity and mineral tension, this is a dense and powerful, tightly knit and concentrated, phenolic, structured Ziergegg with great aging potential. Tasted in May 2019.

    It's almost redundant to say, but in the 60th year of existence, Weingut Tement offers another stellar range of wines. It is composed of the new 2018 generic and village wines and the single-vineyard "crus" from the exceptional 2017 vintage. As always, this lineup was completed by some matured wines and late releases (the more-matured wines will be published a week later) as well as the Slovenian wines from the other part of the Zieregg, since the green border runs without any wall straight through the center of the prestigious cru. Since the reputation of Domine Ciringa is not as high as Tement's, the prices are still very reasonable and the quality is pure Tement.

    I am possibly repeating myself in saying that Armin Tement (supported by brother Stefan and his wife Monika as well as his parents Manfred and Heidi) has made Weingut Tement to Austria's number one wine producer. Although it has been lead to one of the countries finest wine addresses already during the 1990s and 2000s by Armin’s father Manfred, the son has pushed the borders even further. In terms of size, sophisticated winemaking and the immense range of high-quality wines, I don’t see anybody else producing wine on this level in Austria, and even in other German-speaking countries, there is perhaps only Markus Molitor from the Mosel on those heights. Armin Tement manages to produce great wines even in problematic vintages such as 2016 and also from less highly regarded grape varieties such as Welschriesling. Even Pinot Noir is shining brightly here like perhaps nowhere else in Austria. Readers can look forward to a Pinot vertical that I am lucky enough to be invited to next year. Although the wines were already collected for me this year, I didn’t find the time to add them too. Tement is producing so many wines that it would take me another day to get this done.

    Back to what we have here. Most of all Sauvignon Blancs, of course, as always, but also exciting Pinot Blanc and Morillon, a.k.a. Chardonnay. Tement’s beautiful 2018s, and namely the phenomenal 2017 grands crus, should be mentioned among the world’s finest white wines. Put the IZ (when matured) or the Zieregg in any blind tasting of true wine lovers with passion for terroir wines to learn about the sublime class and style of Tement’s wines. These are predominantly driven by Muschelkalk (shell limestone), which gives them an unrivaled complexity, structure and finesse.

    2017 An early budbreak woke the producers up again, since after 2016, everybody was very afraid of renewed losses due to frost. And frost actually came again in the last week of April. "We fought with all our strength for two nights against the forces of nature," says Armin Tement. Three helicopters, frost candles and 30 tons of glimmering straw saved Tement's vineyards. Only in the lowlands did he have minor damage.

    May was beautiful, and the grapevines developed splendidly. The flowering in June and a dry and hot summer made the vegetation go well. "Due to the dry weather, the grapes remained very small, and we could already see in August that 2017 would bring enormously concentrated wines." At the end of August, heavy rainfalls helped the vines and a perfect ripening process followed until the beginning of harvest in mid-September. "The temperatures were ideal: sunny days were followed by cool nights, and we were able to harvest the incredibly beautiful grapes." The top wines were picked in the last week of September until the 14th of October. Due to the great weather with the generally cool temperatures, Tement was able to apply long maceration periods (up to 24 hours for Sauvignon).

    Armin Tement: "The 2017 vintage is probably the finest and most elegant one since 1990, with full maturity and lovely textures. The wines are crystal clear reflections of their particular origins, and I hope we do not have to wait nearly 30 years again to get another genius vintage."
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