Austrian Fine Wine Masterclass: 15 remarkable bottles

This was a tasting focusing on Austria’s fine wine dimension, hosted by Paula Sidore, Willi Balanjuk and Peter Schleimer at the Burg Vital Resort in Oberlech, Austria. This was part of the Arlberg Weinberg week celebrating fine wine in this rather special ski region, where many of the hotels have deep cellars and astonishing wine lists. This tasting focused solely on white wines (including some sweets): there are certainly some very special Austrian reds, too, that could have been included here.


Bründlmayer Ried Zöbinger Heiligenstein Alte Reben Riesling 2021 Kamptal, Austria
13% alcohol. Intense limey nose with bright fruit. Intense, mineral and with high acidity, showing pure citrus fruit: lime and grapefruit with a pithy edge and some chalky hints. Very precise, with great concentration and acidity. Lovely weight here. 94/100

F.X. Pichler Ried Kellerberg Riesling 2021 Wachau, Austria
13% alcohol. Wonderful aromatics with sweet citrus fruit, a hint of peach and even some apricot. Really fine and alluring. It’s generous but chiselled on the palate, with some rich fruit, a touch of apricot and a lovely crystalline structure. Nice mineral edge here with lovely weight. Combines exotic richness with freshness and precision: quite brilliant. 96/100

Hirtzberger Ried Spitzer Singerriedel Riesling Smaragd 2021 Wachau, Austria
13.5% alcohol. This is a really rich style with sweet pear and citrus fruit with some hints of peach and marmalade. Lovely texture and acidity here, with some innate richness and depth. Bold and rich, but not lacking freshness, with lovely citrus drive. 94/100

Grüner Veltliner

Prager Ried Zwerithaler ‘Kammergut’ Grüner Veltliner Smaragd 2021 Wachau, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Nice depth but also freshness here with a core of pure citrus and pear fruit with a nice acid line, and some white pepper hints. There’s a depth to the fruit but it never becomes blowsy. Has some texture, and finishes slightly salty. 94/100

Schloss Gobelsburg Ried Kammerner Lam 1OTW Grüner Veltliner 2021 Kamptal, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Lovely aromatics with some sweet pear and peach notes as well as some peppery hints. Nice depth and texture on the palate with some crystalline citrus fruit and then a touch of pear and melon depth, showing some peppery notes on the finish. Lovely stuff. This has developed nicely from when I last tasted it, and I underrated it then. 94/100

Bernhard Ott Ried Rosenberg 1OTW Grüner Veltliner 2021 Wagram, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Lovely brightness here with a slight creamy character to the lively, pepper-laced pear and peach fruit. Lovely acidity here with a sense of precision, showing bright citrus fruit from these thick loess soils. Linear and focused but with some nice pear and peach richness. 94/100

Sauvignon Blanc

Erwin Sabathi Ried Possnitzberger Kapelle Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Südsteiermark, Austria
13% alcohol. Complex and textural with a core of citrus as well as some melony richness and subtle herbal hints. Lively acidity under nice dense fruit, with fine herbal hints and nice acidity. Stony mineral notes on the finish. 93/100

Tement Ried Zierreg GSTK Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Südsteiermark, Austria
13% alcohol. Highly aromatic with dried herbs and some smoky, stony grapefruit characters, as well as fine green notes. So fresh and vital on the palate with a stony mineral edge to the herb-laden citrus fruit, with good acidity. Such a distinctive wine. 94/100

Wohlmuth Ried Edeslschuh Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Südsteiermark, Austria (magnum)
13.5% alcohol. Melon and pear on the nose with subtle nutty notes. Nice depth on palate with a stony edge, some nutty notess, rich bold pear and grapefruit, and then some fine herbs. This has evolved nicely with lovely broad fruit. 93/100

Austrian Secrets

Mayer am Pfarrplatz & Rotes Haus Ried Langteufel ‘Rotes Haus’ 2021 Wiener Gemischter Satz, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Has Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Neuberger and Traminer in the mix: a field blend of many varieties from the Nussberg with high limestone content. Lively and intense with bright acidity and vibrant citrus fruit. Linear with some cherry and table grape hints, finishing with powerful lime. Very pure and vibrant with a lovely acid line. 94/100

Stadlmann Zierfandler Ried Mandel-Höh 2021 Thermenregion, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Lovely fruit here: this is bright and mineral with nice precision to the table grape, pear and lemon fruit. Has some yellow plum. Lovely acidity here with nice precision alongside the ripe fruit. Intriguing stuff with nice fruit presence. 93/100

Fritz Josef Roter Veltliner Ried Steinberg 1OTW Privat 2021 Wagram, Austria
14% alcohol. A beautiful expression of this terpenic variety, with pear and table grape, a touch of lychee, and lovely spicy detail. White pepper and crystalline citrus fruit add a foil to the rich, textured fruit. Such vitality and complexity here: a real surprise. 94/100


Kracher Cuvée No 6 TBA 2018 Burgenland, Austria
9% alcohol. Chardonnay and Welschriesling. Gold in colour. Has some volatility, but also lovely toast, spice, apricot and marmalade on the nose. The palate is rich, jellyish and intense with nice acidity and a lot of sweetness. Has sweet apple pie characters and finishes quite long. 95/100

Tschida-Angerhof Samling 88 ‘Domkapitel’ TBA 2017 Burgenland, Austria
8.5% alcohol. Fresh and vibrant with lots of sweetness, showing table grapes, a hint of spice and nice rich texture. Viscous and quite delicious, with some jellyish character. Lovely depth to this wine, and despite the high sweetness it has balance. 94/100

Feiler-Artinger Gelber Muskateller 2018 Ruster Ausbrach, Austria
7% alcohol.  So vital and energetic, but also very sweet. Has real intensity with lovely spice and herbs as well as apricot, pear and table grape characters. There’s some lychee character and a lovely supple textured finish. Quite distinctive, and very good. 94/100