A Bag Of Tricks

by Margaret Rand
You can always rely on Olivier Bernard for a good quote. Olivier is the chatelain of Domaine de Chevalier, on which you can always rely for a good wine, and...
92

2015 Pittnauer Pittnauski, Burgenland

( £17, 13% )

It’s amazing how much Austrian red wines have improved in the last decade, thanks to warmer vintages and much better work in the vineyards and winery. This appealingly mature cuvée of Merlot with three local grapes, Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St Laurent, is a case in point. It’s smooth, complex and well balanced, with subtle wood, black cherry, plum and fresh earth notes, bright, chalky acidity and a funky undertone.

BuyDrinking window: 2021-25Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, Austria, Red, Blaufränkisch, Merlot, St Laurent, Zweigelt
91

2018 Felsner Moosburgerin Single Vineyard Grüner Veltliner, Kremstal, Niederösterreich

( £12.49, 12.5%, Waitrose )

The really top Grüners can be expensive, but it’s amazing how much flavour and personality Austria’s most widely planted and distinctive grape can deliver at just £12.49. This single vineyard example from Manfred Felsner hails from one of the best sites in Gedersdorf and is fresh, peppery and intense, with pear and citrus peel notes, refreshingly low alcohol and a long, stony, persistent finish. A really good introduction to an under-valued variety.

BuyDrinking window: 2020-23Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, Austria, White, Grüner Veltliner

White wine rising

by Christy Canterbury MW
Though the “ABC”, or “Anything But Chardonnay” campaign continues to rail against it, Chardonnay remains the favourite white grape of USA wine drinkers. It is also the planet’s most planted,...
92

2017 Feiler-Artinger Neuburger Trocken, Rust Am See, Burgenland

( £22.50, 13%, Tanners )

Neuburger is an extremely rare grape, even in its native Austria, with only 550 of the country’s 44,000 hectares, but Feiler-Artinger have made something of a specialty of the variety. This is wonderfully perfumed, with very understated oak, peachy, savoury, spicy flavours, plenty of weight and texture. It gives the impression of slight sweetness, but finishes dry, refreshing and well balanced. A wonderful curiosity.

BuyDrinking window: 2019-22Similar Wines: £20-£30, 90-94, Austria, White, Neuburger
88

2014 Weingut Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner Morrison Signature, Niederösterreich

( £8, 12%, Morrisons )

It’s great to see an Austrian Grüner of this quality in a major supermarket. It’s not a power packed wine, but what it lacks in weight, it makes up for in freshness. Floral and medium weight, with some pepper spice, pear and citrus fruit flavours and a zesty, tangy finish. A really good food wine – and I don’t say that very often.

BuyDrinking window: 2015-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Austria, White, Grüner Veltliner

Newcomers on the scene

by Matt Walls
They wouldn’t have got past the elevator pitch in Dragons’ Den. “So you want to sell premium Austrian wines from a transport container in the East End of London?” summarises...

Rawfair steals the show

by Simon Woolf
It’s the third Monday in May. I’m in East London, in a barn of a building, buzzing with wine producers, press and trade. There’s a palpable sense of excitement throughout...
93

2011 Gut Oggau Timotheus, Burgenland

( POA, 13%, Dynamic Wines )

Just like the caricature on the label, this is a big broad wine. White peaches, apricot and kiwi flavours are all brilliantly knitted together with a moreish creamy, nutty texture. Some skin contact and maturation in large, old oak barrels has provided body and structure.

It’s different enough to make you sit up and notice, without being remotely scary or “difficult”. Limestone soil.

BuyDrinking window: 2013-2020Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Austria, White, Grüner Veltliner
89

2011 Gut Oggau Emmeran, Burgenland

( POA, 13.5%, Dynamic Wines )

This is the only wine in the Gut Oggau range which defines itself by a single grape variety. There’s no mistaking the Gewurztraminer on the nose: delicate rose petal and intense lychee aromas dominate. The limestone soil has given this a satisfying “wet stone” finish. It’s bone dry, with just enough acidity to keep things fresh.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-2014Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, Austria, White, Gewürztraminer