I'm new to Austrian wines so I know Brundlmayer and that's just about it. But I'm very intrigued by the few wines I've tasted.

First the Rieslings. I've posted about the Heilingenstein Lyra, 1999 but I really fancy my note so I'll repeat it:

Wonderful golden color. Aromas and flavors of petrol, honeysuckle, apples and rocks. Intense, yet elegant, long, complex and crisp on the palate. Bone dry but the verve of the fruit gives a sweet impression that is offset by excellent acidity. It’s obviously ripe yet balanced, the ripeness showing only as notes of fruit punch on the nose and a contained lushness on the palate. It’s really drinking perfectly now but from what I’ve read plus the great poise it displays, give it 5 more years at least. (17-Aug-2006)

The regular Heilingenstein, 1999 is not in the same league but still a fine drop:

The nose is at first adamantly petrol-y, but the petrol recedes to make room for a fairly complex nose of citrut fruits, apples, minerals and spices. The palate lags behind the nose and shows notes of lime and minerals, with fine acidity and a long, green apple finish. After a while it seemed to fade before coming back and settling into a laid back groove. Not as complex or compelling as the Lyra but a fine wine to drink between the occasions where you just need to open one of Brundlmayer’s flagship wines. Won’t develop further but should keep for a couple of years, I think. (18-Oct-2006)

And then you've got the Gruner Veltliner, every spell checker's nemesis.

I've just had my fourth tasting of the Gruner Veltliner, Langenlois, Alte Reben, 2000. Sort of four, because the first time was corky. The second, at home in late July, was an eye-opener, a Burgundian nose over a palate remiscient of Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. The third time, at a tasting at the importer five months later, it was oakier and sweeter in a way my earlier experience would not have predicted. Now, it seems caught between the two previous experiences:

Veggy, oaky nose, with spicey, vaguely caramely notes. The fruit is somewhat in regression, though there are ample green apples in there and juicy acidity. As the oak melts, I get sweet spices and even hints of chocolate and red fruits and they are very finely delineated on the palate. Not a wine for everyone and I was going to give up on it until it overcame the oak after a couple of hours. (27-Mar-2007)

So I'm kind of scratching my head here. Gruner Veltliner is not that widely written about and I've found widely different opinions of its aging potential. Is the Alte Reben on its way down or does it need to assimilate the wood further?

Brundlmayer is imported to Israel by Anavim.


Tom said…
Chaim, I'm a big fan of Austrian wines, having lived there for quite a few years.

Overall favourites are almost any Riesling smaragd from the Wachau - crisp and minerally, yet ripe and mouthfilling at the same time. Gruener Veltliner is often cited as Austria's signature grape but, to my mind, is little more than a poor-man's Riesling.

There are also bracingly crisp wines from the south in Styria and luscious dessert wines from Burgenland.

See here for a quick overview:

Enjoy, Tom