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Hollerin has fairly large terraces, with loam and Gföhler gneiss soil. Sometimes thought to be the softer counterpart to nearby Höhereck, this vintage the Hollerin really shines! Sweet mint and ginger on the nose, the palate is zippy and bracing with a mélange of stone fruit and citrus: ripe peach, nectarine, orange and tangerine juice, tart kumquat zest—mouthwatering! 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 of the wine. Tasted first as a tank sample, the Loibenberg was floral and fresh, with green strawberries and electric acidity. Tasted a few months after bottling, the green has evolved into orange--orange oil, tangerine, underripe apricot with juicy Fuji apple on the finish. Cari Bernard
The Riesling from Alzinger's Steinertal parcel often sells out the moment it arrives from Austria; the steep, higher reaches of the vineyard have a sparse layer of soil over the primary rock of Gföhler 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. Luckily for us, this year there's enough available to make it to the email! Vibrant energy, elegant structure, age-worthy concentration, these are the attributes that make this wine so sought after! 2017 is right on target, with the textbook balance of density and lift: notes of ripe apricot, lemon oil, peach and the slightest touch of green melon freshness drift over a mineral core. Cari Bernard
Gumpoldskirchener Himmelfahrt used to be Jutta’s only vineyard parcel outside of Vienna, in the Thermenregion, about 13 km south of the city. She now only farms parcels in Vienna, giving up the Himmelfahrt after the 2015 vintage. Späte Himmelfahrt was an experiment in a later harvest and longer time in stainless steel before bottling. Zierfandler and Rotgiphler, two classic white grapes of the Thermenregion, make up the blend. Bottled with 15 grams of residual sugar the wine also boasts 11 g/L of acidity, which is incredibly high and helps temper the sweetness while lending tension. Raspberry seeds, green strawberry, kiwi skin, and gooseberries fill the nose. Quince, cinnamon, raspberry lemonade, juicy pear, dark stone minerality are balanced by a rich, oily sensation on the palate and an elegant sweetness on the lengthy finish. Cari Bernard
This is the final vintage you will see this bottle with Rosengartel on the label, due to red-tape and regulations; but let's not forget about this legendary vineyard, where Jutta farms eight rows of vines down the south-facing flank of the Nußberg, on shell limestone soils. Jutta was initially offered four rows from a female winemaker who was close to retirement in 2006. Thinking it was just conversation, Jutta was surprised to receive a phone call the following year from the same winemaker, saying it was time for Jutta to take the parcel. Since then they've been able to add the neighboring four rows to their plot. Jutta maintains that this beautiful vineyard needs ample time before bottling, and the wine remains in stainless steel tank until well into the following fall. White florals, jasmine blossoms on the nose, green mango, nectarine pit, dried herbs, white cherry, green apple all flood the palate, the wine has fantastic density while remaining luminous! Cari Bernard
Ried Lamm gets its name from the deep, loam (and loess) soils found in the vineyard, located on the southeast side of Heiligenstein in the Kamptal. A fairly warm site due to its southfacing exposition, the Lamm can produce Grüners with high levels of density and concentration. Tasted in June of this year, the Lamm was exhibiting that concentration balanced by a brightness of acidity, with fruity notes of nectarine, pear, and Fuji apple surging forth on the palate, gliding towards a lengthy finish. Would be delicious paired with roasted Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, epic cheese platters. Cari Bernard
It's hard to imagine a better deal than this full liter of organic Grüner, perennially one of our favorites. Stony, dry, bright, and lifted with notes of citrus oil, nectarine skin, and a touch of saline minerality on the finish. CB
Nikolaihof is the oldest winery in Austria, with the cellar dating back about 2,000 years. The Saahs family took the reigns in 1894 and went biodynamic in the early 1970s. 'Zwickl' is a reference to the unfiltered beers of Germany, and this is the unfiltered version of the Nikolaihof Hefeabzug. Although it won't be quite as cloudy as its beer counterpart, the texture is present just enough to give depth and delight to the fresh floral, peachy, and pollen notes. Cari Bernard
Not that we're counting, but Nikolaihof is the oldest wine estate in Austria, with over 2000 years of history under its belt (in the Saahs family since 1894). If you ever find yourself in the Wachau, please do pay them a visit, it feels like a proper pilgrimage site; from Roman crypt cellar, to still-functional baumpresse, to the beautiful, linden tree-covered tasting courtyard—the estate is absolutely magical. Vom Stein is a parcel in the Silberbichl, in Mautern; soils here are a mix of loess, loam, and Danube gravel. Grapes spontaneously ferment and the wine ages for six months in large, oak casks. When tasted in June of 2018 the wine had a haunting mineral nose with herbaceous and stony qualities balancing the lush palate. 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
A Smaragd in everything but name, this is Prager at its most ornate and heady -- going into the stylistic realm of some of his neighbors, especially FX Pichler or Hirtzberger. Fear not though, as rather than translate all that ripeness into an unwieldy amount of alcohol, Toni Bodenstein opted to stop fermentation before it was totally complete, leading to a perfectly balanced wine they would call "Feinherb" across the border in Germany. Bodenstein likens it to the 1990 Klaus, which is no faint praise, to be sure. Built to last in the cellar for many, many years. -jfr Totally in agreement with John, this 'lieblich' bottling is truly unique and is aging well. Opened last month (12/2018) with friends and Chinese food, it did not disappoint. Although darker in color than expected, the wine is fascinatingly opulent, layered, balanced, and has settled in nicely. Highly recommended. Cari Bernard
A Smaragd in everything but name, this is Prager at its most ornate and heady -- going into the stylistic realm of some of his neighbors, especially FX Pichler or Hirtzberger. Fear not though, as rather than translate all that ripeness into an unwieldy amount of alcohol, Toni Bodenstein opted to stop fermentation before it was totally complete, leading to a perfectly balanced wine they would call "Feinherb" across the border in Germany. Bodenstein likens it to the 1990 Klaus, which is no faint praise, to be sure. Built to last in the cellar for many, many years. -jfr
Totally in agreement with John, this 'lieblich' bottling is truly unique and is aging well. Opened last month (12/2018) with friends and Chinese food, it did not disappoint. Although darker in color than expected, the wine is fascinatingly opulent, layered, balanced, and has settled in nicely. Highly recommended. Cari Bernard
Pale pink in the glass, the nose hints at a stony minerality confirmed on the palate. This blend of Zweigelt, St. Laurent, and Pinot Noir is crisp with scintillating acidity and flavors of fresh green and red strawberries, Seville orange, white raspberries, white stone, and lemon juice. A touch more giving than the 2016 vintage, and still incredibly brisk! 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. 2016 is beautifully balanced and fresh, the palate is smooth and juicy with bright flavors of ripe strawberries, tangy raspberries, tart yet candied red cherries wrapped in a cloak of savory spice. A wonderful wine to have with a wide range of food! Cari Bernard
The 'Reflexion' series of wines are single-vineyard bottlings. These vineyards are historically significant to both the region and the Zillinger family. Their parcel of Sankt Laurent is from the Steinthal vineyard, first seen on record in 1520 as a vineyard established in a sandstone quarry. It is now considered a sub-site of the Kellerberg, and is home to vines planted around 100 years ago. Fermentation is in open vat, and maturation is for 18 months in large, used oak and acacia barrels from nearby Hohenruppersdorf forests. Elegant tannic structure comes through as strawberry seeds, plums and a deep spicy minerality make this a delightful choice to pair with a range of fare: think roasted pork, rich vegetarian gratins. Cari Bernard
30+ year-old Sauvignon Blanc grown on limestone and sandstone, with semi-carbonic fermentation in qvevri and aged for 16 months in a mix of oak and acacia barrels, unfined, unfiltered, no sulfur added. The pyrazines add a level of complexity that plays beautifully off the texture, bright acidity, and fruit. Green notes on the nose mingle with aromas of ripe stonefruit; the palate is rife with piquant flavors of quince, peach fuzz, freshly-cut herbs, pineapple rind and gooseberry on the elegant, persistent finish. Cari Bernard
Zweigelt grown on a mix of loam, loess, and sandstone, hand-harvested (as is true with all the vineyards), spontaneous fermentation in stainless followed by maturation in a mix of used oak and acacia barrels of varying sizes. Dark and brooding and not overtly fruity, subtle black plum, a stemmy texture and black pepper make for an enrapturing Zweigelt to pair with game, goulash, roasted wild mushrooms over polenta. Cari Bernard