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. ALZINGER 2017 GRUNER VELTLINER STEINERTAL SMARAGD

    Item #: i_311874
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS Fabulous aromas of oolong tea and vanilla bean turn to pineapple, grapefruit and savory mineral detail on the palate in this exquisite Grüner Veltliner. Viscous, yet vibrant, this shows some spice on the finish. Brilliantly harmonious, yet should show even more with some age. Best from 2021 through 2031. 140 cases imported.

    WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS From the lower terraces of the eastern part of the single vineyard, next tor the Kremser Pfaffenberg and from weathered gneiss soils, the 2017 Ried Steinertal Gruner Veltliner Smaragd is from a cool terroir with high temperature variation between day and night (like the Red Schutt). The bouquet is very clear, fresh, flinty and coolish, with white fruit and lemony aromas intermixing with aromas of crushed stones. On the palate, this is a full-bodied and rich yet crystalline, highly elegant, refined Veltliner with tropical fruit such as mango but great refreshing piquancy. The astringent finish is alive and kicking and reflects a serious structure. Fabulous! Tasted in Unterloiben, Wachau, September 2018.

    2017 was an early vintage straight from the start, says Leo Alzinger. The water storage was good due to a wet spring and the flowering was very good. In early June it became very dry and hot and the heat wave remained until the middle of August. The vineyards on shallow soils suffered at this time. Luckily the rain came back and rescued the grapes. The weather became fine again, with warm temperatures until the middle of September. The harvest started around the 11th or 12th of September, and most of the producers were surprised by the acidity levels of the grapes. The Riesling grapes had at least eight grams of total acidity, which is quite high even for the Wachau. In 2017, it was important to protect the grapes from the sun with leaf management, says Alzinger, who thinned only the east-facing side, leaving the west-facing side completely closed.

    In early October, the rains came back but only for a short period, so there were no negative effects on the Gruner Veltliner grapes, according to Alzinger. The Riesling grapes were already perfectly ripe, with just a small percentage of botrytis. Temperatures of 18 to 19 Celsius in combination with wind in October caused further concentration of the Gruner Veltliner grapes, which pushed the potential alcohol levels up to 13.5 or even 14%. The acidity levels were still okay: between 5.3 and 5.5 grams per liter for the Gruner Veltliner Smaragds, whereas the corresponding Rieslings were at 7 to 7.5 grams per liter. If you'd like to compare the 2017 vintage to some forerunner vintages, 2015 and 2012 would be similar for Gruner Veltliner, whereas 2013 and 2016 are comparable for Riesling, says Alzinger. His 2017 Rieslings are refined, fresh and show a coolish minerality, especially from the cooler sites Steinertal and Liebenberg. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate.
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  2. BERGER 2018 GRUNER VELTLINER (1000ML)

    Item #: i_306004
    Bottle Size: 1L
    Yes, folks, this wine comes in a (1.0) liter bottle, which means you get to have more fun! Representing the fresh, crisp and refreshingly tangy side of Grüner Veltliner in the perennially-popular liter format, this is the bottling that Terry Theise calls the class of the [liter] category. Dry, crisp, and impeccably clean, this wine delivers delicious flavors of white flowers, pepper, and pink grapefruit, underscoredby an attractive leesiness - quintessential value Gruner Veltliner. Bottled under a crown cap; you'll need a bottle opener, not a corkscrew.
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    was $13.98 Special Price $12.98
  3. BRUNDLMAYER 2015 GRUNER VELTLINER ALTE REBEN

    Item #: i_311873
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    JAMES 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.
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  4. BRUNDLMAYER 2016 GRUNER VELTLINER RIED LAMM KAMPTAL, ERSTE LAGE

    Item #: i_307462
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    JAMESSUCKLING.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.
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  5. DER POLLERHOF 2017 GRUNER VELTLINER ORGANIC

    Item #: i_322058
    Bottle Size: 1L
    Light-bodied, crisp, and dry. Lemon and flowers on the nose precede a palate of creamy fruit and notes of pepper, ripe pears, and gooseberry. The finish is citrusy and stony with just enough fruit balanced with bright acids. At 12.5% alcohol, Der Pollerhof organic Grüner is a session quaffer, pure and simple. Like something found at a Heuriger (Austrian wine tavern).
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    was $11.95 Special Price $10.98
  6. ECKER 2015 GRUNER VELTLINER 1 LITER

    Item #: i_323124
    Bottle Size: 1L
    Importer notes from Terry Theise:
    "Though I show it first we actually taste it last, after the big guys that precede it, not as a palate-reset but to show how it holds up. This joins the Setzer as the two snappiest of the ’15 Liters; it’s tensile and streamlined, pointed and brisk, with flavors of caraway seed. It isn’t rich but it’s also perfectly ripe. ~Terry Theise"
    Region: Wagram.
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    was $15.99 Special Price $9.95
  7. EMMERICH KNOLL 2017 GRUNER VELTLINER LOIBNER FEDERSPIEL WACHAU

    Item #: i_372019
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    JAMES SUCKLING - 90 POINTS A fresh and lively grüner veltliner with a lot of charm and plenty of green and yellow apple aromas, plus a hint of white pepper. Drink now. Stuart Pigott.

    This winery has produced so many cult wines over the last decades that it would not be a problem to fill an entire book with their tasting notes." So goes the Falstaff Ultimate Wine Guide's entry on Knoll, one of the finest producers of the Wachau. This Federspiel from the Kreutles site is a superb example of medium-bodied Grüner with a single-vineyard stamp.
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  8. EMMERICH KNOLL 2017 GRUNER VELTLINER RIED KREUTELS FEDERSPIEL, WACHAU

    Item #: i_372014
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 90

    JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS Both juicy and elegant with delicate snow-pea and herbal character, this is prototypical Wachau grüner veltliner. Quite a long, lively finish. Drink now.

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    From sandy loess and weathered primary rock soils 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.
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  9. HIEDLER 2016 GRUNER VELTLINER RIED THAL KAMPTAL

    Item #: i_342385
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE SPECTATOR - 90 POINTS This is high-toned, exuding elderflower, lemon, white peach and lentil flavors. Vibrant, with the bracing acidity driving the long finish. Drink now through 2023. 45 cases imported.

    * * *

    Nuances of yellow tropical fruit, a bit of pineapple and mango, hints of flowers and honey; complex texture, elegant, fine acidity, good length; versatile food companion.
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    was $26.98 Special Price $19.98
  10. HOFER 2017 GRUNER VELTLINER "HUM" ORGANIC

    Item #: i_307464
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Liquid 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?

    Try this.

    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."
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  11. NIKOLIAHOF 2017 GRUNER VELTLINER HEFEABZUG

    Item #: i_360253
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Vinous Media: 92
    WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS Multilayered and idiosyncratic, but focused and precise, exhibiting plenty of fruit and spice flavors, with pumpkin spice, cinnamon, passion fruit and lavender notes, balanced by a well-defined structure. Combines concentration and grace, showing the potential to improve over time. Drink now through 2029.

    WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS Sourced from many different vineyards, the 2017 Gruner Veltliner Hefeabzug is Nikolaus Saahs' "Steinfeder" class. Bottled straight from the fine lees in April 2018, this is an elegant and fresh, pretty intense and mouth-filling Veltliner with a subtle mineral background on the nose and a lingering mineral structure in the serious and persistent finish. Still very young, the wine benefits a lot from aeration. Tasted from lot LN1107618 in September 2018.

    If you like well made natural wines that are not too funky, you've made it. This bottle will turn even the harshest Gruner Veltliner, Austrian wine skeptic into a believer. The crunchy white minerality taste like you are licking a luxurious geode that has been dipped in the freshest, cold pressed white peach juice. Notes of glitter, sea shells, green sour skittles, and wet sand clad with serious acidity that will brighten up the back of your palate and have you begging for the next sip. This is a wine that is perfect for any time of the month, day or year. Produced in a beautiful way that respects the earth, you can taste the dazzling dignity and honor in every sip. BIODYNAMIC. DEMETER CERTIFIED.
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  12. SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG 2015 GRUNER VELTLINER TRADITION

    Item #: i_322055
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 93
    WINE 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.
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  13. WEIXELBAUM 2018 GRUNER VELTLINER STEPHANUS

    Item #: i_322457
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Ripe fruit, beautiful richness, but with good acidity to back it up, the Weixelbaum "Stephanus" bottling is a prime example of everything good with 2018 in Austria. Flavors of green melon, snap pea, kiwi and citrus dance around your palate in delight. If this came from the Wachau, you would probably peg this as a Smaragd, mostly for its richness, but also for its elegance and sheer drinkability. This is a Gruner that punches up above its class.
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