New Releases from Austria – Fall 2014

These tasting notes were to debut in Sommelier Journal this fall. Due to the magazine’s sale, the publication was unable to print these comments on my top picks of some of the newest Austrian wines hitting our shores. My one global comment is that the 2012s from Niederösterreich are absolutely delicious!

Malat 2008 Brut Rosé Reserve 12.5%
Austria / IPO
Bright, baby-girl pink, this bubbly is briskly acidic, packed with small bubbles and vigorously youthful with its tart raspberry flavor. Bracingly dry, this is a food wine. Drink up!

Wieninger 2012 Wiener Gemischter Satz 12.5%
Wiener Wein / Winebow
Vibrant lemon pulp color. Gemischter Satz creates a big hodgepodge of flavors: white pepper, ripe red pear, crisp apple cider and cinnamon-dashed apple sauce. The acidity is bright and the faint tannins tug lightly into the medium finish. The medium body comes across as spritely, lively and minerally. Drink now-2017.

Stadlmann 2010 Mandel-Höh Zierfandler 13%
Thermenregion / Frederick Wildman & Sons-Monika Caha
This light gold Zierfandler is so aromatic and, even at only 13%, so rich in texture that it drinks well at room temperature. Straw, almond, rosemary and white peach stretch from the nose through the long finish. A truly noble bottling. Drink now-2020.

Josef Ehmoser 2012 Grüner Veltliner Von den Terrassen 12.5%
Wagram / David Bowler
As with all Wagram wines, it is softer and easier than Niederösterreich wines. The body is light and the alcohol is well-integrated. Leafy aromatics of fresh cut herbs are joined by flavors of yellow grapefruit and yellow plum. The finish is modest, but the wine fully delivers for its style.

Buchegger 2012 Grüner Veltliner Gebling 13%
Kamptal / David Bowler
This wine doesn’t use the Erste Lage indication, which contributes to its excellent value. Richly ripe apricots and peaches couple with citrus zest and pith, creating an engaging palate. The concentration is impressive and allows the flavors to linger a long while. This wine seems to have pent-up energy quivering between its mouthwatering acidity and rather light body. Drink now-2020.

Hirsch 2012 Heiligenstein Grüner Veltliner Kammern 12%
Kamptal / Skurnik-Terry Theise
This bracingly dry bottling displays the delicate side of Grüner Veltliner, showing its loess soils through its juiciness. Spice, white flowers, white grapefruit and juicy pear are only the start, and decanting will help unfold the other layers. This wine’s long finish shows its pedigree. (Disclosure: I worked harvest for Hannes in 2012 and dumped this wine’s grapes into the fermenter.) Drink now-2020.

Langmann Vulgo Lex NV Blauer Wildbacher Frizzante 11.5%
Weststeiermark / Massanois Imports-Monica Caha
This is a fun and funky wine for the adventurous. It smells of wild berries, game, blueberries and earth. Its supple palate (enriched by 7 grams of residual sugar) is energized by moderately-sized, effusive bubbles and lengthens into a medium finish. Drink now-2014.

Neumeister 2012 Grauburgunder Steirische Klassik 13%
Südsteiermark / Frederick Wildman & Sons-Monica Caha
Serious, smoky, earthy, minerally, and perplexing, this wine has something to prove. Medium-bodied with just a bit of baby fat, this wine is easy on the palate and provides pure and subtle Old World flavors. Wet stone, yellow apple and straw with a dash of clove at the very end. Drink now-2014.

Loimer 2012 Riesling 12.5%
Kamptal / Winebow
Pale straw color, this wine is loaded with spice, white peach, lemon pith and sage. It’s delightfully vibrant, zinging and enticing. The biodynamic sprays must be shining through as this wine feels “dynamized.” Drink now-2018.

Sattler 2012 Sankt Laurent 13%
Burgenland / Skurnik-Terry Theise
As if the deep, blue-inflected boysenberry color wasn’t enough to draw you in, there’s the vibrant and youthful nose of popping-off-the-vine black raspberries and loganberries. Hints of leather hide in the background. The palate is spritely with ruby red grapefruit, blueberry, açai and fresh thyme. Medium-bodied with perfectly integrated acidity, this sips well alone or with food. Drink now-2015.