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Jutta Ambrositsch did her quarter-life crisis right, making the jump from a career in graphic design to biodynamically farming some of the finest plots of old vines in the 19th District Vienna DAC along with a satellite plot, from which this wine takes its name. This wine comes partly from the Bisamberg vineyard in the 21st district, north of the Danube with predominately sandy loess soils and calcarious subsoil. A blend of co-harvested and stainless steel fermented Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc the nose is both floral and soft, with just a hint of flint. The wine is juicy and bright, medium in body with notes of white cherries and white peach, tarragon, and orange zest. Cari Bernard
Fuchs und Hase is a collaboration between Alwin & Stefanie Jurtschitsch and Martin & Anna Arndorfer in the Kamptal. Each vintage they make a series of "Volumes", always Pét Nats, with no filtering or fining. The grapes are picked together and co-ferment as well. Each Volume is a different blend: 2015's Volume 1 is mostly Müller-Thurgau, with some Grüner Veltliner and Muskateller. The nose is delicate with notes of apple blossom and anise. Savory tones of oxidized apple core balance out the tropical tang of starfruit and green strawberry, making for a wine that is a touch more fruit forward than Volume 2. Cari Bernard
Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe are making a 'family' of wines in Burgenland, Austria. Emmeram is 100% Gewurtztraminer grown biodynamically on a mix of limestone and sand. Grapes are hand harvested and ferment in large, used oak barrels. The élevage is also in used oak (500 L barrels), and like their other wines, there is no batonnage, no fining or filtration, and no added sulfur. This vintage of Emmeram finished fermenting with a touch of residual sugar, which lends a balance and textural richness to the piquant, young ginger and white pepper spice along with flavors of ripe pineapple and juicy pears. Cari Bernard
Sourced from vineyards that are currently awaiting organic certification, the wine is aged in stainless steel and clocks in at a whopping 11.5% alcohol. Incredibly crisp without feeling austere, the white blossom and young ginger notes are present on both the nose and palate, along with a green apple skin, grapefruit zest, fresh radish, and a hint of pea shoots on the finish. An inspired choice for pairing with everything from a simple salad to softer, zesty goat cheeses, and kohlrabi schnitzel (I've had it, it's a thing). Cari Bernard
Weingut Jurtschitsch is the oldest winery (est. 16th century) in the Kamptal region of Austria and has been in the family since 1868. Vineyards were converted to organic farming in 2006 and all 60 hectares have been certified organic since 2009. The Brut Sekt Rosé is mostly Zweigelt with the balance made up of Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent, from cooler vineyard sites with calcareous soils. The wine spends 2 1/2 years on the lees and receives 7 g/L dosage. Light, antique pink in the glass, the nose is fragrant with roses, blueberries, and raspberries. On the palate juicy red berries mingle with stony and salty minerality. Cari Bernard
A blend of Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and a touch of Merlot; the Biodynamically-grown grapes are harvested by hand and see only stainless steel, so although the wine is medium in body, it boasts an incredible freshness. The nose is rich with notes of cherries and plums, while the palate is bright with juicy blackberries, cassis, dark plums, smoke, red apple skin, and dark chocolate. Works well with or without a slight chill.
Uwe Schiefer organically farms 14 hectares in the Südburgenland region of Austria, with a goal of moving to full biodynamics in the coming years. The ‘E’ is Blaufränkisch (vines average 15 years of age) sourced from a 6 ha plot on the steep slopes of the Eisenberg, with mixed soils of slate, clay, ferrous loam, and quartz. Blaufränkisch grown here often has a distinct level of minerality and acidity, making for fresh, food-friendly wines that also are incredibly terroir-expressive. The nose is rich and dark, with notes of black pepper and black plum skin mixed with stewed blackberries, cassis, brown sugar, and uplifted by aromas of mint, lavender, and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied on the palate, smooth and rich with flavors of blueberry compote, black raspberries, and black tea, with a touch of well-integrated tannins and bright acidity. 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
Steiner Hund is a renowned site in the Kremstal, with loess and loam soils and a southern aspect. The wine is spontaneously fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness and vibrancy. The nose hints at a touch of botrytis and white blosssom; there is a richness to the mouthfeel coupled with notes of white peaches, apricots, and a soft, framing acidity. Cari Bernard
The Stagard 2015 Handwerk is a wine that shows the serious side of Grüner at a great price point. The nose is fragrant with white and yellow florals, leading notes of yellow peaches and Cara Cara oranges with just a whiff of white pepper. The palate is vibrant with juicy orange and stone fruit giving way to white pepper and a strong mineral character. Full-bodied but balanced by bright acidity, it would pair well with herbed chicken, grilled shrimp, or a board of soft cheeses. Andy Paynter