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Riesling from a mix of smaller plots closer to the village of Oberloiben (Dürnstein). This was one of the line up that was a touch tight upon tasting at the estate this past June, but it shows great promise to be an electric, brisk Riesling! Lean and light with notes of peach and apricot, lemon zest, and sour orange. 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
Mühlpoint is located on the gentle slope below Steinertal, with higher levels of loess and loam, more suited to growing Grüner Veltliner. Rich and textured with notes of warm apple, spiced pear tart, and creamy orange melon--elegant yet still maintains a level of mirth and vibrancy. 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 floral-scented face powder on the nose, the palate boasts great texture and lift with notes of peach candy, green strawberry tops, and white grapefruit.Cari Bernard
The Riesling from Alzinger's Steinertal parcel sells the moment it arrives from Austria; the steep, higher reaches of the vineyard have a sparse layer of soil over the primary rock of Gfoehler gneiss which lends itself well to growing Riesling with intense minerality and power. The vineyard is located at the end of two valleys, where cool air intensifies in the autumn, providing ideal diurnal range to preserve acidity, ripeness, and aromas in the grapes. Interestingly enough, Grüner can also thrive here, although further down the slope, but still above Mühlpoint at the bottom, and as one can imagine, the Grüners from Steinertal have a great amount of acidity and age-worthiness. The melon note from Mühlpoint is here on the nose, but much more angular; on the palate is a truly interesting intensity of rich mouthfeel and stone fruitiness coupled with salinity and savory dark minerality. Needs some time to fall into place, but if you can wait, this wine will reward your patience! Cari Bernard
Grüner Veltliner from vines planted in 1959 on a mix of clay, gravel, and limestone soils, aged in stainless steel for five years before bottling.
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
Vines up to forty years of age grow on a mix of mica schist and brown sandy soils in a terraced, southwest-facing parcel on the Gaisberg, near the village of Strass in the Kamptal. Farming is Biodynamic using soft pruning methods, harvest is by hand, and the wine ferments naturally then ages in a mix of stainless steel and large, neutral oak casks. Although 2015 was a warm vintage, this wine fresh and very crisp, with green and stone fruit notes on the nose and palate. Green apple, slightly underripe nectarine, white peach, salted lemon juice, with intense mineral cut and precision--decant if serving for the full experience! Cari Bernard
Heiligenstein is legendary: born of the Bohemian Massif it is home to a myriad of soil types, and Johannes Hirsch is a venerable scholar of Kamptal terroir. His dedication and love for the region is felt in his commitment to uncompromisingly farming biodynamically, utilizing soft-pruning techniques in the vineyards, and the care taken in the cellar to let the wines ferment spontaneously and at their own speed in a mix of stainless steel, acacia, and oak barrels (all used). The Hirsch Heiligenstein vineyard is on the Zöbing side, curving from south- to southwest-facing in aspect, with a mix of silt, conglomerate, and colored sandstone along with gravel, volcanic soils, and in some portions, loess. Aromas of fresh wildflower stems, clover, and white pepper on the nose, the palate has fantastic cut, with fruity yet tart tangerine, salty mineral structure with green apple and underripe apricot. 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
Terraced vineyards on Gfoehler gneiss and mica-schist covered by loess, this is the highest altitude vineyard that Alwin and Stephanie Jurtschitsch farm (organically certified since 2009). Although the vineyard has a southeast orientation, the omnipresent winds at this altitude help to cool the vines, helping to preserve acidity and fruity aromas in the grapes. After fermentation with natural yeasts, the wine ages in old 2,000L Austrian oak casks on the lees for at least six months. Seville orange oil, marjoram, jasmine blossom are effusive on the nose; the palate is lush and dense, but kept bright with acidity. Exotic flavors of pineapple and asian pear mingle with candied orange peel and white peach fruitiness on the lengthy finish. Cari Bernard
The top billing of the Steiner Hund vineyard delivers in spades in this gorgeous 2010 Riesling. The nose is mesmerizing with aromas of limewood, Doyenne du Comice pears, chestnuts, licorice, tarragon, and allspice. The wine floats effortlessly on the palate and is held aloft by a refined minerality that offers notes of Granny Smith and fresh ginger through to a bitter orange finish. A stunning apéritif! - David Salinas
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
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 in the glass, this vintage brings us a bit more mineral cut with notes of black raspberries, raspberry seed, tart red plum, ripe red cherries, and fresh juicy blackberries. Cari Bernard
If you've read the Hirsch Heiligenstein note, you have a bit of a primer on how complex the soils can get here. Gobelsburg's Heiligenstein vineyard is home to some of the oldest Riesling vines of the estate, growing on a mix of silt, sandstone, feldspar, with rich sediments. Bright and powerful notes of lime flower, green mango, apricot, and a brisk stony minerality make for a wine with fantastic aging potential.
Vines ranging from 5-35 years old grown on amphibolite and Permian (read: partially volcanic) soils. Freshy fresh, bright and racy, with notes of tart lemon and yuzu citrus, green mango, and flower stems. Zöbinger Rieslings are time and again, acidity-fueled wonders in the glass; if you are a German Riesling fan, these won't disappoint. 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