Austria

Altenburger, Markus 2015 Burgenland Blaufränkisch 'Gritschenberg'

After starting to oversee the winemaking in 2006, Markus Altenburger took over the family winery fully in 2012, and has expanded to 30 parcels totaling around 14-odd hectares (currently in the third year of organic conversion). His parents had mostly made white wines with some attention given to international red varieties. Markus shifted the main focus to Blaufränkisch, a grape far more suited to the climate and soils found around the town of Jois and the Leithaberg DAC. Work in the cellar is with native yeasts, élevage is mostly in old wood or cement, with no additions save a judicious amount of sulfur at bottling. Gritschenberg is a southeast-facing parcel on the Leithaberg, planted to Blaufränkisch by Markus' grandfather in the late '60s. The vineyard is rife with the famous 'Leithakalk' or shell limestone, on which the old-vine Blaufränkisch manifests smaller berries, looser bunches, and lends a mineral elegance to the wines. Grapes are hand-harvested, ferment in cask, and the wine ages for two years in 500L used oak barrels. The concentration of plum and raspberry fruit that could have gone too lush and soft in a ripe vintage like 2015 is deftly cut with savory black licorice and salty herbs and earthy structure. Bravo, Markus! Cari Bernard

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $67.99

  • Organic

Alzinger 2018 Wachau Höhereck Riesling Smaragd

Höhereck (found between Kellerberg and Loibenberg), is southwest to southeast in exposition, with Gföhler gneiss laced with feldspar and quartz. One thing that is quite conspicuous upon visiting is that this is a vineyard in which a large portion is dedicated to just lying fallow as a nature preserve. Wild grasses and flowers stand untouched; the rest is terraced to vines. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 4 in stock
  • $59.99

Alzinger 2018 Wachau Hollerin Riesling Smaragd

Hollerin has fairly large terraces, with loam and Gföhler gneiss soil. Sometimes thought to be the softer counterpart to nearby Höhereck. CB

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $54.99

Alzinger 2018 Wachau Loibner Mühlpoint Grüner Veltliner Smaragd

Mühlpoint is located on the gentle slope below Steinertal, with higher levels of loess and loam, more suited to growing Grüner Veltliner. CB

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $42.99

Alzinger 2018 Wachau Steinertal Riesling Smaragd

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 website! Vibrant energy, elegant structure, age-worthy concentration, these are the attributes that make this wine so sought after! Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 7 in stock
  • $69.99

  • white
  • 57 in stock
  • $15.99

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $51.99

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $43.99

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $61.99

Hirsch 2018 Niederosterreich Grüner Veltliner Hirschvergnügen

Delightfully fruity but balanced with refreshing acidity, this year's Hirschvergnügen comes from all estate fruit, hand-harvested, ambient fermentation and aging occurs in stainless steel. Bursting with tropical citrus fruits, green apples, and the slightest touch of herbal spice. This is a great Grüner to pair with lighter fare. Cari Bernard



  • white
  • 44 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic

Jurtschitsch NV (b 15) Kamptal Brut Sekt Rosé

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, electric pink in the glass, the nose is fragrant with roses, tart cherries, and raspberries. On the palate juicy red berries mingle with stony and salty minerality: refreshing and bone dry. Cari Bernard

  • rosé sparkling
  • 9 in stock
  • no discount
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Malinga (Christoph Heiss) 2017 Kamptal Grüner Veltliner

Christoph Heiss has not only taken over the family winery, he's also releasing a few wines as a side project under the 'Malinga' name, using only choice parcels of the family's 12 hectares of vines. Located in eastern Kamptal, the vines grow on mostly loess soils, and the family started conversion to organic farming in 2013, (wines should be certified starting with the 2018 vintage). Grapes are hand-harvested and ferment spontaneously, the wine ages on the lees for ten months in 500L neutral oak barrels before being bottled unfined/unfiltered and with low sulfur addition. Herbs and pollen on the nose give way to a medium-bodied palate with an oily richness deftly balanced by the vibrant acidity of tart nectarine, racy sour cherries and orange zest. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 20 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $52.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $61.99

  • Organic
  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $61.99

  • Organic
  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $81.99

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $43.99

Nikolaihof 2017 Wachau Grüner Veltliner Zwickl

Nikolaihof is the oldest winery in Austria, with the cellar dating back about 2,000 years. The Saahs family took the reins in 1894 and went biodynamic in the early 1970s. 'Zwickl' is a reference to the unfiltered beers of Germany (Zwickelbier), 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. Serve with spring vegetable salads, asparagus tart, roasted chicken and herbed new potatoes. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Biodynamic
  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $43.99

Nikolaihof 2018 Wachau Neuburger

Leave it to Biodynamic farming pioneers Nikolaihof to make a Neuburger that's actually complex and compelling; to turn our attention back to this often overlooked variety, commonly lost to blends or diluted by over-producing vines. Floral tea and tropical white fruit glides softly along the palate lifted by some Fuji apple acidity on the lengthy finish. So good! Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $42.99

  • Biodynamic

Preisinger, Claus 2017 Burgenland Blaufrankisch Kalkstein

Claus Preisinger's winery is right outside the tiny town of Gols, on the northeast corner of the Neusiedlersee. He currently farms 19 hectares split between about 64 different plots. Biodynamic since 2008, Claus has embraced the methodology to consistently produce delicious, layered, composed wines, showcasing the unadulterated terroir of Burgenland and often showcasing autochthonous varieties. The name 'Kalkstein' is in reference to the shell limestone soils found in the vineyards where the Blaufränkisch grows. Average vine age is 30-years-old, grapes are hand-harvested, and spontaneously ferment in stainless tank followed by aging sur lie in used large wooden barrel for six months before being bottled with low amounts of sulfur. True to form, his Blaufränkisch shows bright minerality and great texture through the layers of juicy plum, black raspberry, and savory herbs. Cari Bernard

  • red
  • 22 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Preisinger, Claus 2017 Burgenland Kalkundkiesel White

Claus Preisinger's first vintage was in in early 2000s, after stints working in California as well as with Hans and Anita Nittnaus in Burgenland, where his vineyards are also located. His 19 hectares of vines have been certified Biodynamic (Respekt) since 2008. This vintage of the Kalkundkiesel is Grüner Veltliner, Weissburgunder, and Muskateller selected from a variety of vineyard sites on the north shore of the Neusiedlersee, with soils containing limestone and pebbles. The wine spends three months in amphora and is bottled with no added sulfur. Wildflowers, honey, peaches, and wood shavings on the nose, the palate has a lactic creaminess, with notes of yellow peaches and golden delicious apples, white florals, olive brine, and just the lightest bit of texture and leesiness. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Preisinger, Claus 2018 Burgenland Puszta Libre!

It's back! Unusually slender for a red wine bottle, the Puszta Libre! bottle shape takes its inspiration from vintage soda bottles, a cheeky nod to how chuggable this wine is; and if that's not enough we are also instructed by the label to "drink cold"! Mostly Zweigelt with Sankt Laurent, fermented in stainless steel and aged in large (600L to 1000L) used oak barrels. A purple-ruby in the glass, the 2018 vintage is fun and energetic with notes of black raspberries, raspberry seed, tart red plum, and leesiness on the finish. Cari Bernard

  • red
  • 43 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Stadlmann 2016 Thermenregion Pinot Noir Classic

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

  • red
  • 54 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • red
  • 4 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Weingut Karl Schnabel 2017 Südsteiermark Rotburger Kreuzegg

Rotburger is the original name for Zweigelt; this bottling is sourced from one of Karl and Eva Schnabel’s three vineyards, the Kreuzegg vineyard on the Sausal mountain, home to slate soils with silex. As is true with all of the Schnabel red wines, natural fermentation occurs in open tank, with hand-pigéage; the wine is then scooped via bucket into used Burgundy barrels where it ages on the lees until being bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no sulfur. Deep, dark magenta in color, darker than expected. Scents of ripe purple plums, stewed strawberries, carrot peelings, and just a hint of savory soy sauce, the wine is medium-bodied, juicy and mouthcoating with flavors of blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries, plums, and only the faintest whisper of tannins on the finish. May need another month or so to really knit together, but we look forward to where this wine is heading. (2/2019) Cari Bernard

  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Wenzel, Michael 2018 Neusiedlersee Lockvogel Gelber Muskateller 'Wild & Free'

Michael Wenzel's family has been making wine since the fifteenth century in Burgenland, their home and cellar still in the small town of Rust, on the western side of Lake Neusiedl. Ever the tinkerer, Michi started the 'Wild & Free' line of wines, which on average have about 10-15 days of skin contact and are bottled without fining, filtration, and with low sulfur added. This process lends a deft texture and balance to the highly aromatic Gelber Muskateller, sourced from the Lockvogl vineyard. A field of flowers, mint, pineapple and nectarine flood the nose, the palate is light and sharp, tangy and bright, with the faintest whisper of chalky texture, citrusy wild strawberries, apricots, and flowering herbs on the finish. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 10 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Wenzel, Michael 2018 Neusiedlersee-Hügelland Furmint

Michael Wenzel is one of the few winemakers left in Austria making dry Furmint (a grape usually found in noble sweet wines of both Austria and Hungary). His father, Robert, brought Furmint clippings from Hungary back into his family's hectarage in the mid-eighties. Michael continues to plant vines and has been looking for ways to adapt the grape to the current terroir of Rust. So far the results have been (for us) a benchmark example of the variety. Scents of quince, white blossoms, apples, nectarine and herbs waft from the glass readily; the palate is powerfully concentrated with stone fruit and quince balanced with crystalline acidity. Fantastic! Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 10 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic

Wenzel, Michael 2018 Neusiedlersee-Hügelland Pinot Gris 'Wild & Free'

The Wenzel wine that first caught my attention, Michael's 2015 Pinot Gris 'Wild & Free', did so because it was a complex, natural wine that was both fun and sophisticated; food-friendly but stood well on its own. For the 'Wild & Free' line of wines, grapes are hand-harvested, and spend between 10-15 days in contact with the skins before pressing. Wines age in neutral barrels. The 2018 conjures the same delight as the 2015: beautiful floral scents, deep, umami notes of umeboshi plum mixed with sour cherry, blood orange, raspberry, wild strawberry, and red grapefruit zest, medium-bodied with the lightest tannic tack and bright acidity—elegance and drinkability! Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 25 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Zillinger, Johannes 2015 Weinviertel Reflexion Sankt Laurent

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

  • red
  • 9 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Zillinger, Johannes 2016 Weinviertel Velue Zweigelt

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

  • red
  • 16 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur