Austria

Alzinger 2019 Wachau Dürnstein Grüner Veltliner Federspiel

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. The 2019 boasts an effusively floral nose: jonquils, lemon blossoms, sweet pea, and clover, with some notes of apple skin and wet stone. The palate is lithe and racy, even agile. There are bright acidity and stone notes, driving a distinctly sapid palate. You get the savory herbal notes walking hand in hand with the preserved lemon, tart apple, and underripe white peach culminating in a lingering, mouthwatering, and pleasingly bittersweet finish. The contrast between fruit and stone is compelling and this shows plenty of lively detail in each sip. John McIlwain

  • white
  • 29 in stock
  • $29.99

Ambrositsch, Jutta 2018 Wiener Gemischter Satz Kosmopolit

Jutta Ambrositsch tends a modest 4 hectares of vines from around 10 different small parcels within the city limits of Vienna. Continuing a longtime Viennese tradition, she produces several Gemischter Satz wines, which are white blends from local grapes. The 2018 Kosmopolit is lovely, subtly floral with a touch of density and white stone fruit. A real treat and a great fall white! For those interested, the wine is truly a Gemischter Satz with dozens of varieties from several sites, all harvested on the same day by two different teams, and co-fermented. Here's the rundown of info on the parcels:

a) Stammersdorf (young vines): Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay

b) Sievering (young vines): ten rare, old varieties, planted seven years ago.

c) Preußen: 25% Riesling, 25% Zierfandler, 25% Welschriesling and 25% mixed varieties.

d) Mukenthal (old vines): ten rare, old varieties, planted in 1970.

e) Plagen: many different types of Veltliner (Grüner, Roter, Frühroter, Brauner,...) a very steep site surrounded by forest.

  • white
  • 18 in stock
  • $22.99

Barbara Öhlzelt 2019 Österreich Grüner Leader (1 Liter)

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 2019 is very fresh and fun; juicy ripe peach and apples, balanced by green pineapple acidity. Enjoy with salty snacks, salads, light pastas, fresh cheeses! Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 54 in stock
  • $16.99

  • Organic
  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Joiseph 2017 Gruner Veltliner Altenberg

This is a truly great interpretation of Grüner Veltliner, which could challenge anything you thought you knew about this grape. Grüner is the most famous autochthonous grape from Austria, and is certainly the one most associated with the country on the international market. It is planted on more than 14,000ha, which is 31% of the total acreage. Depending on where it is planted and when it is harvested, it shows significant differences in style. Wines range from light and vivacious, to the very, very ripe ones more common in the Wachau-Kremstal-Kamptal trifecta of wine regions, where Grüner is king.

The vines for this Joiseph bottling are coming from a single site, but because it is voluntarily declassified from the Leithaberg DAC (the DAC system in Austria is not a very inclusive club, but that’s a whole other story), you can now understand why the label has a little hangman game printed on the back label. This Grüner comes from poorer soils of limestone up in the Leitha Hills, on one of their coolest sites. This explains the tension on the palate, that keeps reeling us in for more. It was made with a bit of pre-soaking of the grapes for 48 hours, prior to pressing (to extract more juice and have better results when pressing) and then aged in old wood. I recommend a decanting of this wine, as it has so much more to offer with oxygen and time. We drank it over a few days and it kept on giving with the ripe fruit, the nuttiness, the controlled oxidative aromas, all tuned up by the grip of acidity and dare I say it…mineral character. This wine would easily age 5 to 10 years if you have the patience.  If you come with a pre-defined image of what Grüner should taste like, it might leave you in a shock. But come in with an open heart, and you’ll leave with a blown mind. Root vegetables, creamy dips or sauces, hard cheeses, roasted nuts: all potential friends with Altenberg. Some roasted birds too, or even aged pork, with great umami flavors.  -Emily Campeau

  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Joiseph 2019 Piroska

The 2019 Piroska is a blend of Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, and other red and white grapes. The Pinot comes the Lange Ohn vineyard with southern exposure and stony soils. The Zweigelt is taken from the Trift vineyard, also southern facing, but with generally finer, calcareous soils. The rest of the blend comes from a vineyard of mixed vines, though it is known to be planted with a large number of Blaufrankisch vines. This vineyard, named Obersatz, is on relatively flat ground. The wine is unfined and unfiltered. In the glass, it is a deep red in color. The aromas are snappy, like intensely mineral earth and cold, crisp red and black cherry. A trim, clean and articulated nose. On the palate, the wine has red cherry, dark stones, and a touch of herbaceous birch root. In addition, there is a wonderful flavor of blood orange, fruit and peel. When first opened, there is a pleasant mineral tingle on then tongue. Otherwise, the mouthfeel is full, ripe with refreshing fruit. The finish is long and earthy. Dynamic and tasty bottle. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 39 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Jurtschitsch 2019 Kamptal Mon Blanc

A new arrival from Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch in the Kamptal, 'Mon Blanc' is a blend of Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Gelber Muskateller and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) from the Loiserberg vineyard (cooler site, glimmerschiefer and loess, certified organic since 2009). About two weeks of skin contact, spontaneous fermentation in open-top wooden vats, aging is in 600L old oak barrel, the wine is unfined and unfiltered with a small amount of SO2 added only at bottling. The 2019 was stricking, really a stand out white with chamomile and stone fruit on the nose (peach/apricot), and beautifully integrated tannic structure from skins. Behaves very much like a medium/full bodied white, but has the notes of skin contact wine with the additional grip and convincing dryness. 

  • white
  • 24 in stock
  • $24.99

  • rosé
  • 2 in stock
  • $15.99

  • Organic

Knoll 2001 Wachau Gruner Veltliner Smarag Ried Loibenberg

White pepper and black fruit – what a combo! And distinctly nutty/grainy aromas as well. A rich, peachy, totally dry white wine, with creamy texture and great length. Fascinating and delicious wine that goes well with a great many foods – a great match for Asian spices, for instance. JW Nearly 15 years on from the vintage, Knoll's 2001 Loibenberg GV is a quite impressive wine, with the peachy flavors Jamie first wrote about years ago having mostly receded, leaving in their place a citric, herbaceous Grüner with telltale aromas and flavors of nuts, grains and lentils. Knoll's wines age wonderfully, retaining freshness and loads of character, even after their obvious, forward fruit has faded. Still youthful but showing quite well and promises to unfold more over the next 5-10 years. John Ritchie

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $119.99

Meinklang 2019 Burgenland Weßer Mulatschak

A blend of Welschriesling, Grauburgunder, and Traminer biodynamically grown on a rocky loam soils. Hand-harvested, the grapes macerate for about a week followed by spontaneous fermentation and aging in stainless tank on the lees. The wine is unfined, unfiltered, and only 25 mg/L of SO2 is added before bottling. A nice balance of florals, apricot, slightly oxidized apple, and savory leesiness with just a whisper of texture. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 18 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Ott, Bernhard 2019 Feuersbrunn Wagram Grüner Veltliner Am Berg

Am Berg is one of our best-selling Austrian wines and deservedly so. There's simply no better entry-level Grüner Veltliner. Fresh and lean, with a saline cut, and notes of young ginger, lemon zest, and apricot. 2019 is a heralded vintage and sadly in small supply, but this vintage of the Am Berg is another example of how good the vintage is. Deliciously textbook Wagram Gruner Veltliner with great acidity and rather surprising depth for a wine of this level. 

  • white
  • 3 in stock
  • $19.99

Preisinger, Claus 2019 Burgenland Blaufrankisch Kalkstein

Claus Preisinger's winery is right outside the tiny town of Gols, on the northeast corner of the Neusiedlersee. Biodynamic since 2008.  The name 'Kalkstein' is in reference to the shell limestone soils found in the vineyards where the Blaufränkisch grows. Average vine age is 30-years-old, grapes are hand-harvested, and spontaneously ferment in stainless tank followed by aging sur lie in used large wooden barrel for six months before being bottled with low amounts of sulfur. True to form, his Blaufränkisch shows bright minerality and great texture through the layers of juicy plum, black raspberry, and savory herbs. The newly arived 2019 is delicious and vibrant, with dark fruit and light-medium body. People speak about drinkability, and we don't like to overuse the term, but it couldn't be more apt to describe this lovely red.

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Preisinger, Claus 2019 Burgenland Puszta Libre!

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. The 2019 just arrived about one month ago, and is singing! Great for summer BBQs and responsibly distanced parties!  -EL

  • red
  • 40 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Schlossmuhlenhof 2018 Rheinhessen Riesling Trocken "Bodenfunk"

A dry Riesling from the Reinhessen region of Germany. Fermentation is with indigenous yeast, aging is in stainless steel, and the wine is bottled without filtration, lending an opaque quality in the glass. We're assuming the "Boden Funk" nickname for this wine is referring to the fact that it's an unfiltered white, but there is really nothing funky about the wine. It is by all means a pitch perfect Riesling, with lime flower notes and zippy acidity. Refreshing, totally dry, and a fantastic value. 

  • white
  • 20 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • white
  • 4 in stock
  • $34.99

Weingut Harm 2015 Wachau Riesling Durnsteiner Kellerburg

Maria and Andreas Harm make wines in the Wachau and Kremstal in Austria. Their estate was only started in 2010, so they are definitely a new name in this iconic area, but are already producing beautiful, balanced wines from some famed sites. Vineyards were always farmed organically, with Biodynamic certification coming in 2019, and the wines are fermented with native yeast. Kellerberg is a 15 hectare site of sandy loess over gneiss and quartz, and arguably the most prized site around the town of Dürnstein. The 2015 has the boldness associated with the Kellerberg site, balanced by moderate alcohol (13.5%), low RS and good acidity. It's definitely Riesling, but doesn't scream petrol, has some ripeness, but the mineral finish keeps the wine fresh with lifted notes of crisp orchard fruit as well. It seems from recent tasting that the wine should still have a nice life ahead of it, though it is certainly enjoyable now. 

The winery itself is located just outside of the Wachau, so the Harm wines from the region can't carry the designations from the three-tier Vinea Wachau system (Steinfeder, Federspiel, or Smaragd). I suppose this would technically be a Smaragd (top tier), as alcohol % for Federspiel (middle tier) is only from 11.5-12.5. Though I cant find analysis online, residual sugar seems well below 9 grams (the limit for Smaragd), and it's certainly age-worthy, as the 2015 is still youthful from tasting in 2020.   -Eben Lillie

  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Weninger 2017 Mittelburgenland Blaufränkisch

Franz Weninger has vines in both Sopron, Hungary and Burgenland, Austria. He started converting to biodynamics in 2006 and is now Demeter certified. Franz grows a variety of grapes on a mix of limestone, clay, loam, and loess soils (on the Austrian side), but his main focus is Blaufränkisch and its ability to showcase terroir. You can see this dedication in the sheer number of different, single-vineyard expressions he bottles from both sides of the border. The 2017 is from multiple Burgenland parcels. Cari Bernard

  • red
  • 34 in stock
  • $19.99

Wenzel, Michael 2018 Neusiedlersee-Hügelland Franky 'Wild & Free'

A new addition to the Wild & Free line-up from Michael Wenzel, this is majority Blaufrankisch with a touch of Pinot Noir. 1/3 of the grapes go through carbonic maceration, helping its bright red fruit and zippy acidity, and giving the wine a very fresh and easy attitude. It's a very clean wine, and perfect for lunch, which seems to be a bit of the inspiration for Wenzel when he made this wine, in homage to the light fruity wines his grandparents used to make. 4mg SO2 at bottling (10mg is considered a miniscule addition, so this is very LOW so2). 

  • red
  • 11 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Wenzel, Michael 2019 Neusiedlersee-Hügelland Furmint Aus dem Quartz

Michael Wenzel is one of the few winemakers left in Austria making dry Furmint (a grape usually found in noble sweet wines of both Austria and Hungary). His father, Robert, brought Furmint clippings from Hungary back into his family's hectarage in the mid-eighties. Michael continues to plant vines and has been looking for ways to adapt the grape to the current terroir of Rust. So far the results have been (for us) a benchmark example of the variety. Scents of quince, white blossoms, apples, nectarine and herbs waft from the glass readily; the palate is powerfully concentrated with stone fruit and quince balanced with crystalline acidity. Fantastic! -CB

  • white
  • 28 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Wenzel, Michael 2019 Neusiedlersee-Hügelland Vododoo Child Wild & Free

The Wenzel 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. This skin contact Pinot Gris is a lovely hibiscus hue in the glass, with beautiful floral scents, deep, umami notes of umeboshi plum mixed with sour cherry, blood orange, raspberry, wild strawberry, and red grapefruit zest. Medium-bodied with the lightest tannic tack and bright acidity—elegance and drinkability! This would be a great bottle to take you from hors d'oeuvres all the way through the main event this holiday season. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Zillinger, Johannes 2018 Weinviertel Velue Riesling

'Velue' is the old name of the town where the Zillinger farm is based. Vines for this bottling come from an eastern-facing slope, the average age is 30 years-old. Spontaneous fermentation occurs in stainless steel tank, and the wine stays in contact with the lees for five months, with occasional batonnage, bottled unfined and unfiltered. This Riesling is incredibly vibrant; the nose is racy and redolent with stonefruit, mirrored on the palate as juicy nectarine, underripe peach, with tangy tangerine and mango. Bright and lively and a great introduction to the estate. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 14 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur