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Organically-farmed Blaufränkisch grown on limestone (kalk) soils outside of the town of Jois in Burgenland, Austria. Refreshing notes of juicy raspberries, ripe strawberries, and cantaloupe mingle with bright acidity and a crisp mineral finish. Pair with a large helping of moules-frites, a rare tuna burger, fried chicken, you name it! Cari Bernard
Hollerin has larger terraces, with loam and Gfoehler gneiss; Leo Jr. calls the wines from this vineyard "charming" with good fruit and structure, a contrast from the more intense mineral cut on the wines from the Höhereck vineyard just on the other side of the hill. Delicate aromas of white strawberries and flowers on the nose, the palate boasts great texture and lift with notes of peach candy, green strawberry tops, and white grapefruit. Cari Bernard
Riesling vines for the Smaragd bottling grow in meager soils in a high altitude, amphitheater-shaped vineyard where most of the sun-exposure ends at around 3 in the afternoon, making for a cooler microclimate in contrast to some of the other south-facing sites on the Loibenberg, where a more Pannonian (warmer) climate prevails. The cooling influence is reflected in the high minerality in balance with a creaminess and clarity of fruit--peach blossom and stone on the nose gives way to stone fruit and just-ripe mango with a spicy intensity and long, saline stony finish on the palate. Cari Bernard
Schenkenbichl is a terraced vineyard on chalk, amphibolite, gneiss with richer top soil, 330 meters above sea level, where exposure to the sun balanced by the cooling and drying effect of ceaseless winds from the west make for longer hang time and therefore more phenolic development. Spontaneous fermentation is followed by aging in large, neutral wood casks for around 9 months. Incredibly concentrated with notes of white pepper, pineapple core, white cherry, apricot, and Fuji apple, firm minerality and shimmering acidity. Cari Bernard
This biodynamically-grown Blaufränkisch is a year-round favorite. Aromas of exotic spices, ripe raspberries fill the nose, the palate is juicy and medium-bodied, with notes of salted red plums, black raspberries, black tea leaves, with a touch of earthy black pepper. Cari Bernard
Unmistakable on the nose--that floral perfume mixed with SweetTarts candy scent--this can only be Gelber Muskateller (Yellow Muscat). A fresh and delightfully fruity wine, still floral on the palate, balanced with flavors of crisp apple, peach, mango, and lime candy. A great bottle for apéro! Cari Bernard
Am Berg is back! Younger vines grown on loess soils closer to the village of Feuersbrunn. A fantastic entry-level Grüner, fresh and fruity, but not at all flabby; creamy but with a saline cut; with waves of white flowers, young ginger, lemon zest, mango and apricot. Cari Bernard
Twenty-five year old vines on loess soils grown on the rim of the valley in the Wagram, of Ott's Grand Cru vineyards, Spiegel is a perennial favorite. Delicately mineral on the nose, this Grüner is dynamic on the palate: notes of Meyer lemon, lime zest, green apple candy, mango, white cherry, pineapple, peach skin with vibrant acidity and a lingering finish. Very young and powerful, yet balanced, this wine will age beautifully! Cari Bernard
Riesling grown at a higher elevation near the Rosenberg. Freshest peach, white flower petals, salted green mango on the nose, the wine is bright and intense and not overly fruity; notes of green apple skin, nectarine, pineapple are tart and crystalline. 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 vibrant with notes of cherries and plums, while the palate is bright with juicy blackberries, dark plums, smoke, red apple skin, and red raspberries. Works well with or without a slight chill. Cari Bernard
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. This vintage of the Kalkundkiesel is Weißburgunder, Grüner Veltliner, Muskat, and Welschriesling selected from a variety of vineyard sites, with soils containing limestone and pebbles. Maceration is for four days and the wine ages in a mix of used, wooden vessels before being bottled without any added sulfur. Elegantly textured with layers of ripe apricot, lees, salted yellow apple, quince, soft floral tones and savory clay: a stunning wine! 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. An electric purple-ruby in the glass, the 2017 vintage is delightful and luminous with notes of black raspberries, raspberry seed, tart red plum, sour cherries, and crunchy cranberries. Cari Bernard
A blanc de noir, this méthode ancestral (read: pét-nat) sparkler is 100% Sankt Laurent, picked early to preserve acidity. Aromatic and fresh, notes of white flowers and strawberries give way to a lively mousse with vibrant flavors of tart peach yogurt, juicy wild strawberries, apricots, Fuji apple, underripe pineapple, and some funk on the finish. Cari Bernard
Pale 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, Seville orange, white raspberries, white stone, and lemon juice. A touch more giving than the 2016 vintage, and still incredibly brisk! Cari Bernard
The Stadlmann family has been making wine since the 1780s in the Thermenregion; sheltered from the northern winds by the Vienna Woods, it is one of Austria's warmest wine growing areas. The 'Classic' line of wines are aged in large, used barrels to showcase the true character of the grape and terroir. 2015 is darker on the nose than 2013, with notes of cherry cola, black cherries, and red flowers. The palate is smooth and juicy with bright flavors of tart yet candied red cherries. A wonderful wine to have with a wide range of food! Cari Bernard
Vogelsang is one of two single-vineyard parcels that Michael bottles separately. The vineyard is further south along the Ruster hill-chain, here mica schist and gneiss soils are punctuated with grey quartz, which Michael says gives the wine a cooler and tighter minerality. When tasted against the Garden of Eden vineyard (pink quartz), one can't help but concur. As Furmint is a late-ripening grape, bunches in the Vogelsang and Eden vineyards will often stay on the vine until late September, more than three weeks after the other grape varieties are harvested. For the Vogelsang, there is a touch of skin-contact before pressing (less than the Eden), and the wine ages in 500L used French oak barrels. An incredible balance of luxurious density and cool minerality, evoking comparisons with age-worthy Loire Chenin Blanc, concentrated Pouilly-Fuissé, and even characteristics of heady Jura whites. Like Chenin, Furmint lends itself well to a wide variety of wine styles, from dry and linear to the most elegant of dessert wines (Ausbruch). Vogelsang is dry with a concentration of fruity and aromatic quince, yellow apple skin, tangerine oil, white blossom, and honeyed young ginger, with a stony minerality keeping things from getting too lush. Enjoy now paired with seared scallops over creamy polenta, roasted chicken with fennel, potatoes au gratin, or put down for at least 5-8 years. Cari Bernard
The wine that first caught my attention, Michael's 2015 Pinot Gris 'Wild & Free', did so because it was a complex, natural wine that was both fun and sophisticated; food-friendly but stood well on its own. For the Wild & Free line of wines, grapes are hand-harvested, and spend between 10-15 days in contact with the skins before pressing. Wines age in neutral barrels. The 2016 conjures the same delight as the 2015: deep, umami notes of umeboshi plum mingle with sour cherry, blood orange, red apple skin, raspberry, stewed strawberry, and red grapefruit zest, medium-bodied with the lightest tannic tack and bright acidity--elegance and drinkability! Cari Bernard