No one would deny this estate’s inclusion among the absolute elite in Austria, and many observers wonder if there’s anyone finer. Extraordinarily transparent, filigree, crystalline, mineral-drenched wines of mindboggling clarity. Prices remarkably sane for world-class great Rieslings (compare to the best in Alsace!)
Normally this goes into the Piri, but it was so spectacular in 2010 that Martin vinified it separately. It’s the lowest five terraces below the church. Compared to the Privat this is a shimmering powerhouse, seriously green, the morning sun shining on a balsam forest; gorgeous spreading rivulets of juiciness on the palate. This has it all; astounding complexity and irresistible deliciousness, into a massively fruity finish.
A big wine to drink young while it has the fat to mitigate its 14% alc, and also enjoy its gorgeous primary aromas of cookie-dough and flavors of “secret” sweetness; peppery finish to a loessy GV at an apex of charm and grace—for the next 18-24 months.
More Veltliner ordnance, 14.5% this time, but it’s creamy and exotic, neither vulgar nor bellicose; just massively salty and Sarawak-peppery with a stern buzzing finish that stops just short of the doorway to heat. Cask-sample, by the way, so it may seem less creamy in bottle.
There’s more to this but it’s harder to see, at least now. These wines need a few years to unfurl. The aromas are haunting, they pull you in, and there’s just more to the palate, some coiled quivering thing waiting to rise and burst. I imagined streamers of tropical fruit, herb-butter, cucumber, rhubarb… I honestly wonder if anyone could spend four or five days tasting Grüner Veltliners like these, and come back still insisting the variety is ancillary. Here I am excusing myself for offering five wines, but this wouldn’t at all be absurd if the wines had the stature they deserve. ~Terry Theise
CORE-LIST WINE. This wine revealed itself only after 2-3 minutes in the glass. It has chiseled precision. Every sweet green seems to be in it; herbs, but not “herbal,” verbena and balsam; Martin says wormwood. Fantastic pulverized mineral mid-palate. It has a German-like acidity of 8.1 g/l, but many Trocken Germans are lower than this. Look, you’re gonna breeze right through this at the tastings, but if you drank a glass I know categorically that by the second or third sip you’d be all “WTF??? This wine is nuts!” ~Terry Theise
I had a feeling the fur would fly when we got to this wine. It has the kind of fragrance, you can’t be sure you’re not dreaming. White lilacs, quince, strawberry, ginger; the palate is the stuff of legend, a superb tactile mineral density below all that floral-herbal jazz, and the finish sets up base-camp on your palate. ~Terry Theise
This tends to be the lost “middle-child” in the range, and I get it but it’s still baffling; the wine can be so good. This has a sensational fragrance; ivy, nettles, boxwood, balsam GV with “secret” sweetness and a fabulous mizuna/arugula cut; plumper from the tulip, racier from the Zalto, and lovely either way. ~Terry Theise
From the Zalto it was racy, complex and mineral; from the (Riedel) tulip it was explosively multi-layered, showing a larger panoply of plant elements in a complex mélange. Zalto—a nice, spicy wine. Riedel—a near-great wine, more dense, juicy and complete. ~Terry Theise
Pending tasting notes.
Tasting notes not yet available…
The first-ever “plus” for this—ha!—“entry-level” wine. It’s sternly loessy but not “sweetly” so; it even has power, and a lovely nubby texture, with aromas and flavors of lentil and sorrel and barley, with a faro starchiness. We sell a lot of it, and if you’re a long-time buyer I promise you, you’ll take the first sip of this and think WTF got into this? ~Terry Theise
It’s the same as “Extra Brut.” And that wonderful 2010 is finally drunk up – what a wine that was. This is the first disgorgement (4/2016) of what will be many; he isgorges it as-needed and says there’s “plenty” more. I was happily surprised how agile and creamy this was with such a short tirage, but it’s a Blanc de Noir in fact, mostly PN with Zweigelt. Stylish and delicious.