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 2015 "GRASSNITZBERG" SAUVIGNON BLANC STK ERSTE LAGE (PREMIER CRU), STYRIA, AUSTRIA

    Item #: i_342387
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS The 2015 Grassnitzberg Sauvignon Blanc—marketed as premier cru (1STK)—has an intense citrus color and opens with a dense, aromatic bouquet that intermixes ripe and concentrated lemon (zest) aromas with flavors of crushed stones. Very complex and promising! Full-bodied, rich and round on the palate, this is a dense, well structured and expressive Sauvignon Blanc with reduced fruit aromatics but a beautiful sur-lie texture from the long lees aging. The wine is highly elegant and finessed and has a hidden complexity that is expressed through a persistent mineral taste and structure that comes with grip—like a river transporting rolling stones over your palate. This is a great and elegant wine that can compete with the finest Sancerres. It comes from shell limestone soils and a warm, protected terroir whose hillside faces south/southeast. Stephan Reinhardt.

    Tement remains the finest address in Austria for great white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. The 2015s are terrific again, but Armin Tement's ideas and passion for different plots and tastes are so advanced that he has produced many new wines in this dry and warm vintage that brought perfectly ripe and healthy grapes. There are so many wines now coming from the Zieregg that it has become really difficult to make a decision about which wine to buy. The classic Zieregg Sauvignon Blanc is still a great and perhaps the best choice. Add the 2012 IZ (a German abbreviation for intracellular fermentation) and you own world class wines from Austria. An insider tip is the Zieregg Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). I tasted all the 2015 single vineyard wines in May 2017 as samples. Only a very few 2016 top wines were bottled by then. I have tasted just a very few, of which the Slovenian Fosilni Breg from the family-owned Domaine Ciringa was the finest: super precise, pure and fresh, with a long and aromatic finish. The yields were terribly low in 2016 due to the spring frost. However, Tement bought grapes from other grape growers in order to sell at least normal quantities of his entry level wines.
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