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Pfaffl Hund Reserve Gruner Vetliner 2019
This well-known estate in southern Weinviertel is run by Adelheid and Roman Pfaffl and their children, Roman Josef Pfaffl and Heidemarie Fischer. One of Austria’s most famous winemaking families, the Pfaffls today work some 90 hectares of vineyards spread throughout the Weinviertel region. Today they export to over 20 countries across the world and are known for their commitment to excellence which begins in the vineyard.
Their white wines are made in a classic light and elegant house style with plenty of fruit character balanced by crisp freshness. Gruner Veltliner is their favoured variety to work with thanks to its versatility which allows the family to produce a wide range of styles to suit all tastes.
Their Hund Reserve is one of the family’s bolder and more opulent Gruners, requiring a longer period of ageing to reveal its true complexity and magnificent fruit character. The nose opens with classic Gruner hints of bright citrus, grass and subtle tropical notes. On the palate there is a bright acidity matched by a rich texture and a very long finish. The bold profile makes this a great match for creamy chicken or fish dishes as well as risottos and lasagne.
Nigl Grüner Veltliner Privat Pellingen 2017
This powerful wine makes its presence known quickly. Aromas of bright citrus and spice continue to be present on the first sip, with a vibrant minerality providing a firm structure. The fruit components are dense and complex with a variety of tropical and exotic fruit notes. The finish is long and pleasant, and would be a wonderful accompaniment to spicier foods such as Thai cuisine or a fresh ceviche.
This private label from Weingut Nigl comes from the best vineyard, Pellingen, in their best area, Senftenberg. These 35 to 45-year-old vines are nestled on steep terraces with a bedrock of mica schist. This enables the winemaker to classify it a First Growth, since it successfully accomplishes the high standard set forth by the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter – the Association of Traditional Austrian Wineries.
Weingut Nigl approaches winemaking with a respect for the land that they grow their grapes from. They follow a strict environmental protection program established by several government agencies. For those visiting Austria, their beautiful vineyard is worth a visit. Their grounds also contain a renowned restaurant and hotel.
Holzapfel Achleiten Gruner Veltliner Federspiel 2019
One of Wachau’s hidden secrets, Holzapfel is still not well-known outside its native Austria despite producing some truly inspired and delicious white wines from classic local grapes like Gruner Veltliner and Riesling. The 9.5 hectare estate is run by Karl Holzapfel who is passionate about crafting terroir-driven wines from the best quality fruit he can grow. The winery itself is based in a historic mansion which was established 700 years ago by the Canons of St Pölten.
Bursting with mouthwatering freshness and stony minerality, this cracking Gruner Veltliner begins life in the Achleiten vineyard where the vines grow on steep hillside terraces. To capture the natural purity and acidity of the fruit, the must is fermented in stainless steel tanks with lees stirring to add complexity and body to the finished wine.
The nose opens with luscious tropical fruit and bright citrus while the first sip reveals a crisp acidity, light body and distinctive minerality on the clean finish. The minerality and bright fruit character make this a great partner for fresh seafood as well as chicken and fish dishes served in a creamy sauce. It also pairs well with tricky ingredients like asparagus which can be difficult to match with wines.
Soellner Ried Fumberg Gruner Veltliner 2018
Dani and Toni Soellner make exquisite white wines on their small estate set on the rolling hills of the Wagram wine region which look out over the Danube river valley. Since 1995 they have pursued biodynamic winemaking and they also follow the Austrian government’s strict criteria for organic agriculture. Their respect for the natural environment continues in the winery where they seek to allow the pure character of Austria’s indigenous grape varieties to shine through.
Their Ried Fumberg Gruner Veltliner is sourced from terraces on silty loess soils which force the vines to dig deep in search of nutrients and water. This helps the vines to produce incredibly concentrated, flavoursome grapes which in turn produces sensational white wines. The grapes are all harvested by hand and fermented in large wooden barrels. The wine then remains on the lees for an extended period to give a rich creamy texture and complex flavour profile.
In the glass you’ll notice the pale yellow hue and charming aromas of fresh herbs, lemon zest and stone fruits. The first sip reveals a crisp acidity, light body and pure, clean finish dominated by ripe fruit flavours. This vibrant white makes for an excellent aperitif or accompaniment to seafood, fish and green salads.
Schuster Gruner Veltliner Alte Reben 2019
Gruner Veltliner is the crown jewel in Austria’s wine production thanks to the exquisite and unique white wines now being produced across the country. The Schuster family have been making wine for 250 years and focus on using traditional local varieties like Gruner and the rarer Roter Veltliner. Their ancient family connection with the vine means they are very aware of their place in nature and they seek to work in harmony with the earth.
The grapes used in the Alte Reben are harvested by hand from 50 to 60 year old vines planted on two different plots. After they arrive at the winery the grapes undergo a slow fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to preserve the freshness and pure varietal character. The wine is then stored on the lees for a period before bottling.
The Alte Reben is a truly special expression of Gruner Veltliner thanks to the use of old vines which have very deep roots and tend to produce incredibly concentrated grapes with an exceptionally focused and precise flavour profile. On the nose there are generous green apple, citrus and fresh herbs, while the palate offers a mouthwatering freshness, light body and hints of baked apples, oregano, thyme and a salty minerality.
Pfaffl Golden Reserve Gruner Vetliner 2019
The Pfaffl family rank amongst Austria’s most successful winemaking families thanks to their commitment to quality and eye for detail. Adelheid and Roman Pfaffl and their children, Roman Josef Pfaffl and Heidemarie Fischer, run the family estate in Weinviertel which boasts a total of 90 hectares of prime vineyards spread throughout the region. This variety allows them to make a diverse range of wines, including many excellent Gruner Veltliners, which are exported to more than 20 countries worldwide.
This Reserve Gruner Veltliner is sourced from a south-facing slope on sandy soils known as the “Golden Yoke” which enjoys an especially hot and dry microclimate. Conditions here are excellent for growing Gruner, with the grapes achieving optimal maturity even during difficult years. The family quickly realised the potential of this site to create a rich, opulent Gruner with plenty of the variety’s classic peppery spice.
On the nose there are ample tropical fruit aromas of melon and pineapple as well as hints of pepper and fresh herbs. On the palate the fruit deepens and intensifies with notes of mango and lychees balanced by a streak of freshness and incredible complexity. This is a powerful yet balanced white which pairs well with creamy fish or chicken dishes or risottos.