Simon reports back from this year’s Austrian single vineyard summit – a massive tasting at Grafenegg castle which provides a unique opportunity to survey the current vintage and many of the region’s top wineries.
Spicy and a little bit wild (attractively so) on the nose, with pretty chunky tannins but also pretty chunky fruit to balance them. There’s a nice combination here of ripeness, some balsamic tinges and good structure. Something to age for a couple of years and return to, a wine with loads of potential.
From the Obere Roterd parcel of Spitzerberg, this is noticeably more austere and stony than Kranzen. Quite perfumed on the nose, with some cassis and even a touch of rose petal. But on the palate, quite lean and balsamic. A fascinating style that, right now, does not feel as generous as Spitzerberg Kranzen, but at
There’s a feeling lightness and aeration in this creamy Weißburgunder. Spicy and lifted on the nose, it opens out to reveal attractive ripe fruit and a subtle salty tang on the finish. The salty mineral notes really add excitement to what would otherwise be a very simple style. And the fresh, energetic feel is great
This might just be one of the most thrilling and harmonious Gemischter Satzen I’ve yet tasted from Christ. The nose shows some candied peel and citrus, but the palate has a wonderful lifted acidity and tight, focused orchard fruits. A slatey, stony note carries the wine through to an exciting finish, and the texture has
Dorli Muhr has identified three very distinct “climats” in Spitzerberg, and from the 2019 vintage she has enough vineyard holdings in each parcel to be able to vinify and bottle them seperately. Kranzen has a beautiful, pure fruit core of crushed raspberry and black cherry. It’s supple and superbly fresh, with a lightness of touch
A fascinating and different style of Blaufränkisch that shows wild herbs and umeboshi plum. The fruit is nuanced and delicate, and the tannins are nutty and firm. Quite a pretty wine that also demands a little thought – it doesn’t show the obvious varietal characteristics, but something different that presumably relates to the heavier clay
Subtly aromatic on the nose, this Gemischter Satz opens with ripe and quite exotic fruits, plus a wonderful limey freshness. It feels nicely tight and focused, with the acidity providing great drive and energy. Despite an extra year in bottle, this still needs a bit more time to flesh out and show its full potential.
There’s nice spiced strawberry fruit on the nose of this blend, with some plum and woodsmoke. The palate feels fresh, but the finish is brutally tannic right now. Very over-extracted, with woody, drying tannins that will need 5 years to properly resolve.
This is the kind of blend that might be understandable from the point of view of “this is what we happen to have growing in the vineyard”, but makes no sense from a taste perspective. It lacks any kind of focus, with each grape variety feeling a little obscured. That said, the tannins are nutty