WorldWine Tasting Report


Austrian classics

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Normally Austria would have been the subject of one of our comprehensive tasting reports, last year already, as it had been for nearly every year in the last decade. But, although I tasted the bulk of 300+ wines during the second half of December I didn't succeed in finishing the job before the end of the year. "Austrian classics" was the motto of my call for samples and 100 of the best producers between Danube and lake Neusiedl sent their Rieslings, Veltliners of 2012, their Zweigelts and Blaufränkischs of 2011 and 2010.

Krems, Und and Stein are in the centre of Austria's white wine viticulture along the Danube (photo: E. Supp)

Oh yes, of course, people submitted one or another bottle that didn't fit into our schemes, but we tasted these wines along with the others. Receiving the samples I was most delighted that nearly all of the big names of Austria's viticulture participated. Among the top ten best rated wineries of our tastings in the last 10 years only two didn't send their wines, one other simply did not produce the varieties requested, only 13 out of our top 50 were missing.

Only the Wachau region stood out with a rather unfriendly attitude, where Prager, FX Pichler, Hirtzberger, Knoll, Alzinger and Domaine Wachau did not bother to send their wines. Initially I regretted that but given the outstanding results of our tasting I must admit that I did not miss them really badly. The level and the density of excellence in the whole of Austria have developed to an extent that as a wine lover you can perfectly get along without these names and their very often overpriced bottles. Ott, Stadt Krems, Bründlmayer, Geyerhof, Nigl, Rudi Pichler, Gritsch, Nikolaihof or Jamek have since long taken over and produce wines which can easily make forget the so called "big names" of the Wachau.

But the real big surprise of our tastings came with the reds, no matter if produced from Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch or a blend from or with the two. Among our top rated 5-star-wines we found 23 whites (mainly Veltliner) but also 17 reds. Overall, the 2011 has topped the very good 2009 vintage as well in the average rating as in the rating of the top wines.

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ENO WorldWine's 25 top scorers

*****Kollwentz - Römerhof (Grosshöflein) - Burgenland Eichkogel 2011
***** +Bernhard Ott (Feuersbrunn) - Feuersbrunner Spiegel Wagram Grüner Veltliner 2012
***** +Stadt Krems (Krems) - Wachtberg Kremstal DAC Grüner Veltliner 2012 Reserve
***** +Josef Pöckl (Mönchhof) - Burgenland Rosso & Nero 2011
*****Geyerhof (Furth) - Gaisberg Kremstal DAC Grüner Veltliner 2012
*****Nigl (Senftenberg) - Kremstal Grüner Veltliner Herzstück vom Kirchenberg 2012
*****Gernot & Heike Heinrich (Gols) - Leithaberg DAC Blaufränkisch 2011
*****Winkler-Hermaden (Kapfenstein 105) - Südoststeiermark Olivin 2011
*****Rudi Pichler (Weissenkirchen) - Hochrain Wachau Grüner Veltliner 2012 Smaragd
*****Willi Bründlmayer GmbH (Langenlois) - Zöbinger Heiligenstein Kamptal Riesling Alte Reben 2012 Reserve
*****Josef Jamek GmbH (Weissenkirchen) - Achleiten Wachau Grüner Veltliner 2012
*****Judith Beck (Gols) - Neusiedlersee Pannobile 2011
*****Hans & Anita Nittnaus (Gols) - Neusiedlersee Pannobile rot 2011
*****Krutzler (Deutsch-Schützen) - Südburgenland Blaufränkisch Perwolff 2011
*****Helmuth Renner & Mitges. (Gols) - Altenberg Burgenland 2011
*****Familie Wellanschitz - Donatus Weingut (Neckenmarkt) - Burgenland Blaufränkisch Hussi unfiltriert 2011
*****Gritsch (Spitz An Der Donau) - Setzberg Wachau Riesling 2012
*****Markus Altenburger (Jois) - Leithaberg Blaufränkisch 2011
*****Bernhard Ott (Feuersbrunn) - Feuersbrunner Rosenberg Wagram Grüner Veltliner 2012
*****Nigl (Senftenberg) - Pellingen Grüner Veltliner Privat Erste Lage 2012
*****Geyerhof (Furth) - Steinleithn Kremstal Grüner Veltliner 2012
*****Bernhard Ott (Feuersbrunn) - Engabrunner Stein Wagram Grüner Veltliner 2012
*****Geyerhof (Furth) - Johannisberg Kremstal Riesling 2012
*****Schloss Gobelsburg (Gobelsburg) - Renner Kamptal Grüner Veltliner 2012 Reserve
*****Nikolaihof Wachau (Mautern) - Wachau Neuburger 2012


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