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Zweigelt and (starting with this vintage) Pinot Noir sourced from Jutta's plots in Gumpoldskirchen, located about a thirty-minute drive south from Vienna in the Thermenregion of Austria. Limestone soils and old vines upwards of 50 years in age make for an elegant and lifted rosé: high-toned with notes of wild green strawberries, kumquat zest, and lemon oil. Cari Bernard
100% Roter Veltliner planted in 1979 near the top of Gaisberg (Zöbing side). Known more for being a top site for growing Riesling than Roter Veltliner, Martin and Anna Arndorfer purchased this vineyard in 2010 (after being warned not to do so by relatives). The primary rock up there (300+ meters, south facing) is predominately Gfohler Gneiss along with Mica-Schist. Both 2012 and 2013 had very similar vinifications: few hours of maceration, aged in a mix of oak and stainless steel, with ten months on the lees and no fining. 2012 was the first vintage of this wine, boasting a beautiful, aromatic nose of brown butter and rich toffee with golden apple and citron. On the palate the wine has an opulent texture, rich and soft, with notes of candied citron, ginger, pear, yellow apple, and salted caramel. Cari Bernard
100% Roter Veltliner planted in 1979 near the top of Gaisberg (Zöbing side). Known more for being a top site for growing Riesling than Roter Veltliner, Martin and Anna Arndorfer purchased this vineyard in 2010 (after being warned not to do so by relatives). The primary rock up there (300+ meters, south facing) is predominately Gfohler Gneiss along with Mica-Schist. Both 2012 and 2013 had very similar vinifications: few hours of maceration, aged in a mix of oak and stainless steel, with ten months on the lees and no fining. We are very lucky to have two different vintages to choose from, ultimately showcasing the influence of the vintage. Reflecting some similar development on the nose as the 2012 (salted toffee/brown butter), there is also a brighter note of Seville orange zest, and the palate reveals a higher acidity, with tangy orange/lemon oil, and brighter vegetal tones alongside the pear and apple fruit. Not austere by any means, but the 2013 does come off as stonier and edgier than the 2012. Cari Bernard
Saignée of Zweigelt macerated with Grüner Veltliner skins, native yeast fermentation in stainless steel. Aging occurs in a mix of stainless steel and used barrique, unfined, unfiltered, with no added sulfur. Dark rose in color with some viscosity in the glass; what looks to be a brooding, big rosé is actually incredibly vibrant. Very juicy on the attack with notes of red plum, cranberry, pomegranate, rhubarb compote, strawberry, and red grapefruit, sour cherry acidity with tannic structure and a long finish. An inspired pairing for all sorts of barbecued meats, cheese plates, burgers, salty snacks, or on its own. Cari Bernard
Weingut Christ makes an assortment of Gemischter Satz wines, this one hails from the Bisamberg, a windy area northeast of Vienna, with sandy loess topsoil and calcareous subsoil; wines from here tend to have high acidity and minerality, perfect for balance in Gemischter Satz wines which often include varieties that can be more fruit-forward. Dry and layered, the richness of orange oil and ripe peach is balanced by green notes of pear and apple. A note of olive brine when first opened, the brininess changes to lemon zest as time passes. This is a fantastic pairing for a vast range of food: think garlicky shrimp pasta or even a simple spring salad with hard cheese and fresh peas. Cari Bernard
Michael Gindl currently works ten hectares of Demeter certified vineyards in the Weinviertel, about 30 km northeast of Vienna. The Little Buteo is made from Grüner Veltliner grown on loam and loess soils on gently rolling hills outside of his home village of Hohenruppersdorf. The must spontaneously ferments in stainless steel with no temperature control, and ages for six months on the lees in stainless tanks. A small amount of sulfur was added at bottling. The wine is fresh and complex, with notes of pollen and white blossom on the nose; on the palate the wine is linear, savory, and bright, with tart lemon zest, green plum and apple, and a core of stony minerality. Cari Bernard
Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe are making a 'family' of wines in Burgenland, Austria. Emmeram is 100% Gewurtztraminer grown biodynamically on a mix of limestone and sand. Grapes are hand harvested and ferment in large, used oak barrels. The élevage is also in used oak (500 L barrels), and like their other wines, there is no batonnage, no fining or filtration, and no added sulfur. This vintage of Emmeram finished fermenting with a touch of residual sugar, which lends a balance and textural richness to the piquant, young ginger and white pepper spice along with flavors of ripe pineapple and juicy pears. Cari Bernard
Biodynamic. Zweigelt. Eiswein. Under $40. Matthias Hager works 12.5 hectares of vines in the Kamptal (Demeter certified since 2010). The vines for the Eiswein are 25 years old on average, grown on a mix of clay and stone soils. The harvest for the 2013 vintage started one night in November and then a spike in warm weather that morning meant they would have to wait until ideal conditions returned in January. Frozen grapes go directly to press, the juice ferments with native yeasts, and ages for one year in neutral oak. More of a Weißherbst wine in color, a blanc de noirs! On the nose come the sharp notes of botrytis: saffron, marmalade candy, ripe mango with a piquant intensity. The palate has a distinctive broad texture and richness balanced by intense acidity bolstering the vibrant flavors of raspberry, honey, and citron with a whisper of graphite and flower stems. A unique eiswein to sip with assorted cheeses and fruit- or chocolate-based desserts. Cari Bernard
100% Grüner Veltliner, from vines around 40 years in age, grown on a mix of loess and clay soils. Spontaneous fermentation begins in a mix of used oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Apple blossom and green apples on the nose, this pét-nat boasts a powerful and creamy mousse with notes of lemon zest, white raspberries, peach skin, with just a whisper of residual sugar, and a layered, long finish. Cari Bernard
It's hard to imagine a better deal than this full liter of organic Grüner. The 2016 is a touch leaner than last year: crisp minerality and mouthwatering acidity lift notes of white blossom, yellow apricot, and salted lemonade. Cari Bernard
Zweigelt grown on loess over primary rock is hand-harvested, destemmed, and macerated for a few hours before being gently pressed. The must spontaneously ferments in stainless steel tanks and later ages in the same tanks sur lie. Ripe, red berry fruits (cherry, strawberry, raspberry) burst forth on the nose and palate, the wine is dry but fruity, and just juicy enough to be a fun pairing for roast chicken, charcuterie, or just about anything off a grill. Cari Bernard
Weingut Jurtschitsch is the oldest winery (est. 16th century) in the Kamptal region of Austria and has been in the family since 1868. Vineyards were converted to organic farming in 2006 and all 60 hectares have been certified organic since 2009. The Brut Sekt Rosé is mostly Zweigelt with the balance made up of Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent, from cooler vineyard sites with calcareous soils. The wine spends 2 1/2 years on the lees and receives 7 g/L dosage. Light, antique pink in the glass, the nose is fragrant with roses, blueberries, and raspberries. On the palate juicy red berries mingle with stony and salty minerality. Cari Bernard
A blend of Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and a touch of Merlot; the Biodynamically-grown grapes are harvested by hand and see only stainless steel, so although the wine is medium in body, it boasts an incredible freshness. The nose is rich with notes of cherries and plums, while the palate is bright with juicy blackberries, cassis, dark plums, smoke, red apple skin, and dark chocolate. Works well with or without a slight chill.
Claus Preisinger's first vintage was in in early 2000s, after stints working in California as well as with Hans and Anita Nittnaus in Burgenland, where his vineyards are also located. His 19 hectares of vineyards have been certified Biodynamic (Respekt) since 2008. The Kalkundkiesel white is a blend of approximately 50% Weißburgunder, 30% Grüner Veltliner, and 20% Chardonnay, from different vineyards grown on chalk/limestone (kalk) and pebbles (kiesel). The grapes can spend up to eight months on the skins, but for this vintage it was closer to four to six. The wine then spends 14 months in neutral, small barrels (a mix of French and Austrian oak), before being bottled with no added sulfur. Incredibly clean and soft, the palate has complexity, but not the tannic texture one often expects on a white wine with months of skin contact. Savory notes mix with yellow apple and peaches on the nose, the wine has rich flavors of saffron, yellow apple, and fresh green pear with a floral overtone. Cari Bernard
Unusually slender for a red wine bottle, the Puszta Libre! bottle shape takes its inspiration from vintage soda bottles, a cheeky nod to how chuggable this wine is; and if that's not enough we are also instructed by the label to "drink cold"! Mostly Zweigelt with Sankt Laurent, fermented in stainless steel and aged in large (600L to 1000L) used oak barrels; fans of refreshing Loire reds, take notice! A touch funky upon first opening, there are black raspberries and dark, ripe plums that take hold shortly thereafter. The palate is juicy with tart red plums, blackberries, green herbs, and delicate tannins on the finish. A delightful option to sip with sunny days in mind! Cari Bernard
Claus Preisinger makes a wide range of red wines, from the fresh and gluggable Puszta Libre! to the more modern and full-bodied style of his Heideboden and Pannoble wines. The Zweigelt Kieselstein runs close to the middle of the bunch: a wine enjoyable now, but with potential to age with elegance. 'Kieselstein' is in reference to the abundance of pebble stones found in the vineyards, where vine age is around 25 years on average. A touch tight on the nose, the palate opens up with notes of rich black plums, savory thyme, ripe blackberries, and a bright, balancing acidity. Cari Bernard
Claus Preisinger has managed to delight us again! Light peach in the glass, this méthode ancestral (read: pét-nat) sparkler is 100% Sankt Laurent, picked early to preserve acidity. Aromatic and fresh, notes of white flowers and green strawberries give way to a lively mousse with vibrant flavors of tart peach yogurt, wild strawberries, and rose petals. Cari Bernard
Pale, peachy-pink in the glass, the nose hints at a stony minerality confirmed on the palate. This blend of Zweigelt, St. Laurent, and Pinot Noir is crisp with scintillating acidity and flavors of fresh green and red strawberries, white stone, and lemon juice. A touch more linear than the 2015 vintage, brisk and bright! Cari Bernard
Made in the same method as the Grüner Veltliner, with 12 hours of maceration with the stems followed by spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel tank. White peach, black plum, and Valencia orange. Moderate viscosity but held in place with bright acids that enhance the terrific mineral detail. 6 g/liter residual sugar and 7 g/liter acidity. Extremely delicious example of the purity and balance that can be found in Austrian Riesling. Jonathan Kemp
Blauer Wildbacher is an indigenous grape of the Steiermark region of Austria. Naturally high in acid, the grape lends itself well to sparkling wines. Franz has 3.5 hectares of Blauer Wildbacher, farmed organically (with biodynamic treatments). The grapes are hand-harvested and ferment in stainless steel, followed by a second fermentation in the bottle. Antique rose gold with just a blush of dusty peach in the glass. Ruby red grapefruit and a touch of volatile acidity on the nose, the wine has less overt berry fruit this vintage, skewing more towards red plum, nectarine, apricot, grapefruit, cranberry and a tartness that reminds one of kombucha. Cari Bernard
Sankt Laurent from the Feiersteig vineyard in Eisenstadt; vines up to 52 years in age, organically grown on calcareous soils, natural yeast fermentation in open tank, aged in small wood barrels for 21 months. Drinking really well right now (5/2017)! Dark and savory, a touch fuller than medium-bodied, with umami-rich notes of soy sauce and roasted tomato, raisin, dates, red and black plum, deep brooding earth, smooth with a long finish and great balancing acidity. Cari Bernard