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Sourced from vineyards around the town of Dürnstein, on more gravelly, sandy, alluvial soils in contrast to the more stony meager soils further up slope, as well as from some young plots of terraced vineyards. The nose is delicate and elegant with lots of fresh fruit of green vineyard peaches, some lychee and meadow flowers, plus smoky dark stone. Light and lively on the palate, with lots of spice and minerals, crisp acidity and fine flavors of pink peach and rose petals, but also a slight tannic grip - reminiscent of pear peel and lemon zest.
Jutta Ambrositsch is our favorite new biodynamic grower in Vienna. This wine's a bit of a quirky one: it's a full liter and her hommage to the workhorse Grüner Veltliner liters that get us through the summer months but it's so much more interesting. She created it's first iteration in 2011, Due to the small size of the 2010 harvest she didn't have enough gemischter satz to bottle on its own. Her solution was to hold it back in tank for a year and blend with the 2011, along with some additional parcels of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner from around the city. The result is terrific, with aromas of flowers, anise and loads of dark-toned minerals. Vividly intense and citrus-leaning on the palate, this will have you re-thinking the whole concept of Austrian liters. Just a tiny drop came into the US, so grab it while you can. -jfr Juicy and round with flavors of nectarine and melon, yet bright and lively. GH
Based in the town of Zöbing, Barbara Öhlzelt farms six hectares of vines. Her Grüner Leader is always a go-to bottle for gatherings. The 2022 is very fresh and fun; juicy ripe peach and apples, balanced by green pineapple acidity. Enjoy with salty snacks, salads, light pastas, fresh cheeses!
The terraced south and southwest facing slope of Zöbinger Heiligenstein has a unique geological history that has been preserved in this vineyard, full of fossilized plants and clumps of volcanic rhyolite and 270 million year old red desert sandstone! This produces a medium bodied Riesling with notes of lemon curd, spicy ginger, beeswax, and a slate-like minerality on the finish. GH
A new side project between Kolfolk winemaker Stefan Wellanschitz and his US distrubutor Winemonger, Felix R&B is a liter full of Rotburger (aka Zweigelt) with a dash of Blaufrankish (hence the name R&B). Surprisingly structured for both Rotburger and liter sized bottlings, R&B is the ultimate fall weather party red with beautiful notes of red berries and brambly forest floor. Sunday football tailgate BBQ? Check! Thanksgiving dinner? Check! Bingeing the new Netflix miniseries The Fall of the House of Usher? Check!!! At this price, you can't afford not to check it out! Giselle Hamburg
Mostly Gruner Veltliner with some Roter Veltliner from certified organic vineyards, bottled without filtration or fining, with a little sulfur addition. The Frug was a famous dance in Austria in the 1960s, and this fresh and zippy skin contact/"orange" wine is meant to make you do the Frug! It's a liter bottle too, so you can dance a little longer. A great deal and favorite for rooftop hangs, summer parties, or fall feasts.
After a brief career in finance, the younger brother of well established Franz Hirtzberger returned to the Wachau and took over another retiring family member's plots. The Treu cuvee is sourced from the highest part of the Kollmutz vineyard and represents Faith (as illustrated by the heart icon on the label). Taking some heraldic themes for his labels and wine names, the former feature the coat of arms of St Florian which had a wine production site in the village from the 13th century until mid 20th century. As explained by Mathias's website: "One heart has loved many. Historically, it is the further development of the fig leaf and often stands for love, strength, endurance and perseverance. In heraldry, the heart is a symbol of loyalty and bravery. The higher you go up the Kollmütz, the cooler it becomes on average throughout the year and the sandier the paragneiss become. This makes the wines incredibly aromatic, complex and dense, while maintaining an animating lightness." Indeed, the wine is all heart with pretty notes of citrus and herbaceousness with a juicy body of peach, melon and pure joy. Lovely! Giselle Hamburg
A blend of mostly Gruner Veltliner (75%) and Chardonnay, meant for drinking now. Aged in large old barrels. As with all of Roland's wines, fermentation is with indigenous yeast and minimal SO2 used at bottling.
Hausmarket Rot is a blend of 50% Rotburger (zweigelt), 35% Blauufrankisch and 15% Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir). It comes across as Blaufrankisch with a more playful side, fresh and agile, full of notes of currants, plums and berries. There is a backbone of earth, minerality and spice that supports the dark fruit in this easy to drink introduction (House Brand) to the finessed and wonderful wines of Roland Velich. Giselle Hamburg
Nikolaihof is one of the oldest wine estates in Austria, whose history goes back almost 2000 years to the Roman empire. Germanic monks obtained the estate during the collapse of Rome, and the first written evidence of winemaking comes from 470 A.D. In addition, Nikolaihof has been practicing Bio-dynamics since 1971, making them one of the longest Bio-dynamic practicing wineries in the world. Nikoliahof became Demeter certified Bio-dynamic in 1998. “Hefeabzug” in german means aged on the lees. This is Gruner Veltliner from vineyards with clay-shaly soils with a high content of granite pebbles. The average age of the vines is 45 years. The wine is fermented in open oak tanks without the use of artificial yeast and without temperature control. Aging on fine lees in large old Austrian oak casks of 2000 - 12000 liters. This yields a lower alcohol Gruner with salinity, minerality and a faint spritz like a Muscadet, but with bigger bones and spice. Rich yet fresh with aromas of herbaceousness, whiter flowers and citrus, and flavors of green apple, flint, white pepper and lemon rind with a persistent, long finish. Giselle Hamburg
Hailing from eastern Burgenland along the Hungarian border, Anita is mostly Zweigelt with splashes of Blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurent. Bright acidity lets the spice-drenched red and black fruits dance on the palate, and the wine—with only 15 milligrams per liter of added sulfur—bristles with energy. There is just enough structure here to keep the wine from feeling simple, underscoring the notes of blackberries, blueberries, black cherries, cola, peppercorn and nutmeg. Lip smackingly delicious! Giselle Hamburg
Bernard Ott is a fourth generation winegrower in the region of Wagram in lower Austria. His family has been cultivating vines and making wine since 1889. When he took over from his father in 1995, he began to improve the family estate by converting to biodynamics and making positive changes in the cellar as well. Ott is considered an icon in the world of Austrian wines and is a major figure in the world of biodynamic winemaking. Am Berg is made from organic Gruner Veltliner grapes grown in loess soil. The grapes are sourced from younger estate vines and purchased from growers in Feuersbrunn. Natural fermentation in stainless steel, left on the fine lees until bottling in February. A delightfully zesty rendition, full of lip smacking minerality with a profound wintergreen herbaceousness, leading to notes of lemon curd, green apple, white pepper and anise with a concentrated, long finish. Bring on the Thai food! Giselle Hamburg
This lone St. Laurent on the shelf right now is simply a knock-out and one of the best examples of the variety I've tried. The bright-fruited nose is laced with complex baking-spice aromas: cinnamon, nutmeg and anise. Well-balanced and refreshing, this wine could take a light chill and become dangerously drinkable. Spontaneously fermented in open tanks, and not a single new barrel goes near this wine, so drink up! A quick note: this is the third vintage we've worked with this wine and it's by far the best. No one is making better reds in Austria than Hannes Schuster and this vintage's earthy character brings new complexity to an already reliably great wine. — jfr
A delightful Blaufrankisch from Sud Burgenland near the border with Hungary. The 2020 vintage manages a fine balancing act between savory and plummy notes but will also be able to age gracefully due to the higher acid and the mineral notes imparted by the green schist soil type. An ideal red that can pair with a wide variety of foods! -Giselle Hamburg
Hailing from the southenrmost reaches in the mountains next to the Hungarian border. This is a new cuvee for Straka in a liter for your gluggable enjoyment: 70% Welschrieling/ 15% Weissburgunder/ 15% Sauvignon Blanc. After 4 days skin contact and several months in tank, the result is refreshing herbaceousness, white flowers and citrus. Your new party wine! GH
A delightful Pet Nat from southeastern Austria next to the Hungarian border. Made of 100% Welschriesling from younger vines harvested earlier to preserve freshness. Ready Steady Go! is meant to start off your get togethers and dinners with a bang; Party Starter! GH
Morillon is the local name in Styria, which lies on the border with Slovenia, for Chardonnay. It's predominantly grown on coralline limestone soil, or Muschelkalk in German. After natural fermentation, the wine is aged for 18 months on the lees in big, neutral oak casks.From 30-year-old vines, fermented for one year in small barrels and aged for another six months in stainless steel (without the addition of sulfur), Bottled unfiltered. Bright and balanced now, but even better after two-three years of bottle age. A great substitute for chablis lover. GH
40% Grüner Veltliner, 35% Müller-Thurgau, 25% Riesling. Sourced from multiple tiny parcels across the Vogelwaide parcels in the western Wachau. Whole-cluster, fermented and aged in a mix of stainless steel and neutral oak. ‘Balztanz’ is a cuvée name that winemakers Daniel and Michael describe as ‘the mating dance of the bird world,’ and it’s used for their lighter-bodied, more expressive or easygoing wines. The birds on the label are also non-native to the Wachau valley, indicating that this is a cuvée for which the duo purchases a small amount of fruit to augment their tiny-parcel, steep slope estate fruit. Unfined and unfiltered showing a hazy straw hue, the wine is at once savory and delicate, herbaceous and green tree fruit, mineral yet ripe, It definitely doesn't drink like a typical Wachau white and that is a good thing. I tried it for the first time over a year ago at the newly opened Koloman restaurant in NYC. The Wine Director, Wachau native Katja from a wine growing family gave me the skinny on the dynamic duo and ever since then, I've been determined to bring them in to a wider public. I hope you will take a chance on these experimental newcomers from quite a conservative region! Giselle Hamburg
From 25 year old vines in the Dürnsteiner Kellerberg, another renowned site in Wachau, it provides the foundation for particularly intense Rieslings. Weathered gneiss, the most common rock in this area, stamps the site’s meager, sandy soil.
Birgit is a fearless winemaker not afraid to resurrect long forgotten or no longer cultivated varietals in her region of Carnuntum such as Harslevelu or Pinot Noir. The latter needs no introduction but does in her region as the grape's fickleness requires more care than the native easygrowing Zweigelt does. This is her new release of her 100% Pinot Noir aptly called "Diva". I will let her words describe her intentions and this cuvee best: " With Pinot Noir I am immediately reminded of a Diva - a female deity who is extremely talented, with finesse and self confidence. If as a winegrower you wrongly understand her, then you produce a simple red wine but if you accept her identity, then you get a Pinot Noir that "sings" and deeply touches you." . This Diva hails from an old single vineyard Rosenberg from Dijon clones. 30% whole cluster and foot stomped by Birgit's own feet! (She may be petite but has hobbit feet size 41!). Upon tasting, we were all struck by it's effortless elegance and balance of beautiful berry fruit and lush yet structured body with a persistent finish. We even drew parallels with Clos des Lambrays and Chambolle Musignys. Do not miss this opportunity to try this very Burgundian alternative! Giselle Hamburg
A brand new cuvee for our friend Alex Zahel in Vienna;, a sparkling version of his family's famous Gemischter Satz or traditional Viennese white field blend hosting a bevy of Austrian varietals (Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Chardonnay, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder and Traminer). A blast of juicy tree fruit, citrus, melon, mountain meadow and white rocks fizzes out of the glass. The palate is crisp yet ebullient, lithe yet structured possessing some grip and cut. A perfect foil for all holiday get togethers including brunch! GH