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K&L Staff Recommendations
This is fresh, minerally and crisp, with that classic Gruner white pepper lift to the nose and tangy green apple and snap pea flavors on the palate. In an easy to open, liter-sized bottle, it's a refreshing go-to for a variety of green salads or veggie dishes, and is particularly complementary to dishes featuring asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or artichoke.The Etz family has been in the wine business since 1898, and the estate is now in the fourth generation. With nearly 40 hectares of vineyard in production, the Etz estate prides itself on synthesizing th... Read More »
From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the fourth generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this fresh, light, and snappy wine is the kind you want to drink by the liter. This food-friendly thirst quencher will be MVP at your next picnic.
According to the brewery: "The Stiegl-Radler Grapefruit is a mix of Stiegl-Goldbräu and fruit juice that is invariably natural and has no artificial sweeteners added to it. The grapefruit juice lends this a naturally cloudy appearance and a tangy fruit flavor, creating a succulent and fruity taste sensation with a refreshing finish."
Inventory: San Francisco
Who says great beer can't come in a can? Those people have obviously never cracked a can of Stiegl's Goldbräu. This Austrian beer is perfectly balanced, mildly hoppy and wonderfully refreshing. At just 4.9% ABV, it's perfect for game day, camping, hot weather or after work, and it drinks well on its own or with food.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe, juicy notes of yellow pear on the nose are shot through with lively, zesty lemon freshness. Smatterings of white pepper play around the sleek edges of this slender but super-juicy wine. This is totally enlivening and sings with fruit and freshness—with all the verve of its vintage. (AK)" (7/2015) K&L Notes: The Schloss Gobelsburg monastery was making wine back in the 12th century. These days the wines aren't made by monks, but rather by Michael "Michi" Mososbrugger, a wine-lover turned winemaker. The grapes come from loess soils, a crumbly sedimentary rock that... Read More »
If you love the liter bottles of Allram's Grüner, then you have to try the 2012 Zweigelt--it's the red wine equivalent: fresh, uncompromising, juicy wine for everyday drinking. Can be served slightly chilled, and make sure you have a good sized glass, you'll save yourself the initial trip of having to get up and get more. Lighter bodied red with a touch of spice and cool blue and red fruits. A fun time red, for sure.
From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the fourth generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a screw cap, this fresh, light, and snappy wine will be MVP at your next picnic.
Inventory: San Francisco
Though this vintage has yet to be removed, the 2013 vintage earned 92 points from Wine Enthusiast: "Subtle lemon hints and zesty freshness mellow a little on the creamy but nonetheless very slender, graceful palate. Elegance and purity are hallmarks here and it is depth rather than power that convinces. Very clean finish." (03/2015)
Vinous: "From riverside sites around Loiben, this bottling offers a tangy meld of rhubarb, green tomato and gooseberry topped by a reductive hint of bacon. It certainly makes for refreshment and invigoration, although the closest thing I detect to richness is a suggestion of kohlrabi. (DS)" (11/2015)
Hannes Schuster and his mom Rosi, the team behind this excellent example of St. Laurent, make some of the most compelling Austrian reds available in the US today. Their estate, planted mostly to red grapes, takes full advantage of its diverse soils and mesoclimates to find the optimal site for each varietal. The St. Laurent is expressive, spicy and minerally, with a creamy silky texture, delicate red fruit and fantastic acidity. A great introduction to Austria's reds.
Wine & Spirits: "A blend of zweigelt and pinot noir macerated for six hours on the skins, this has the heft for the dark meat of a turkey, with a slight sweetness and spice to its cranberry fruit." (4/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a soft, creamy, strawberry- and caramel-flavored wine with lively acidity and a very crisp, citrusy aftertaste. It’s an ideal apéritif-style wine, perfect for the summer." (9/2013) K&L Notes: 10th generation winegrower Markus Huber manages this 200+ year-old family operation, and it is under his expert leadership that Huber Hugo has gained international recognition as the st... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A rather closed nose leads to a citric, ever so slightly peppery palate. The body approaches on light feet, with an almost weightless freshness. If you like it feather-light, this is your wine, just a silky touch of bracing acidity and an ultraclean finish. (AK)" (3/2016) K&L Notes: Liter bottles of Grüner are a must-have for any regular wine drinker, they're so food-friendly, affordable and fun, and the one from Allram never disappoints. But sometimes we long for something a bit more sophisticated, but don't want to have to sacrifice freshness or value. The Gaisberg... Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "This is Roland Velich’s most basic blaufränkisch, a textbook example of the variety in Burgenland. It tastes as if it has assimilated the warm sun in its juicy blue fruit as well as the cool mountain breezes in its tart berry acidity; it offers a sense of the surrounding forests in its spice, as well as the primary rock under the vines in its firm, dark minerality. It’s entirely of a piece and of a place." (6/2015) Vinous: "Aromas of cherry, rosemary and cocoa. At once intense and subtle, offering sweet wild berry flavors and a hint of citrus on the palate. A nicel ...Read More »
96 points Wine & Spirits: ""I’m drinking this," one panelist said, defiantly flaunting our tastings protocol. She wasn’t the only one. The scent alone is hypnotic, heady as the scent rising off a pot of simmering apricot jam. Then there are the swaths of silken, honeyed flavor wrapping around the tongue, spicy, almond-toned, with bright, lifting tangerine acidity. Those flavors linger, a single sip lasting for five minutes, wanting nothing but silence to take it all in. Eiswein doesn’t come often to Hans Tschida’s vineyards on the banks of Lake Neusiedl, so grab this now." (4/2016) ...Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Zweigelt in the mode of a Rhône syrah, this is dark and fragrant, the juicy purple fruit sparked by ample black-pepper notes. It feels vivid and fresh, with a just-pressed immediacy that makes it especially beguiling." (4/2016) Vinous: "Lively nose combines raspberry, white pepper, eucalyptus and wild spices. At once supple and juicy, showing an herbal quality to its flavors of red fruits and licorice. An appealing nervous energy carries through to the finish of this elegantly balanced Zweigelt. Matured in large oak casks, it is Umathum’s calling card and a red tha ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Beautifully pure apple fruit plays on nose and palate. Citrus juice frames the fruit and heightens the freshness even more. If you like a slender, supercrisp style of Riesling, the purity of this will have you hooked." (7/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A wonderfully breezy, citrusy scent promises far fuller expression in the future. The palate is tightly coiled too, but already vibrates with pepper and herbal spice. Riper notions of yellow plums creep onto the palate but the spiciness and citrus zest remain, making for a truly long, lip-smacking finish. (AK)" (9/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Clear, coolish and fresh, with intense white fruit and discreet lemon aromas on the nose starts the 2014 Grüner Veltliner Kamptal Terrassen. Medium-bodied, aromatic and very juicy, this is a dense, elegant, mineral-structured Veltliner with ...Read More »
Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur combines juice from the seasonal harvest of Austria's famed Klosterneuberger apricots with an eau-de-vie produced from this same fruit. Destillerie Purkhart selects its apricots each season from family orchards in the Danube Valley and surrounding regions. Ideal for perfecting so many classic cocktails. Try the Golden Dawn Cocktail: 2/3 oz. Dry Gin, 2/3 oz. Orchard Apricot Liqueur, 2/3 oz Calvados, 2/3 oz. Cointreau, 1 dash Grenadine.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Friendly, crisp, fresh Conference pear flavors pervade nose and palate for a hit of crisp, green, refreshing fruitiness. The palate is smooth and balanced, light but fluid, mellow but fresh. The pear fruit lingers beautifully, rather languid for such a fresh wine. (AK)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ott's 2015 Grüner Veltliner Am Berg tries to balance a crisp freshness and a vinous character. The wine – a collection of younger vines and purchased grapes –opens with an intense but discreet bouquet of white pip and stone fruits along with lemon flavors. Intense, round and aromat ...Read More »
Rothman & Winter's Crème De Violette Liqueur is one of the great mixing agents now available. All you need is a little gin and a lemon, and you've got a delicious and sophisticated cocktail. Elegant in its simplicity, this authentic alpine liqueur captures the fragrance, vibrant colors, and taste of the native wildflowers found in the Alps - the Queen Charlotte and March violets. Use it in classic cocktails such as the Blue Moon or Aviation, or enjoy as an ingredient in continental cuisine.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Pear sorbet and fresh grapefruit on the nose segue into a very peppery palate that alternates between pungency and subtlety—yeasty overtones swish that pepper around sinuous citrus zest flavors and finish with a concentrated earthiness. This is textbook Grüner from a rising star." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Stylish and graceful with rich apple and spiced pear. This is an absolute pure delight to drink. It holds a fresh edge while maintaining all of the classic Grüner qualities. (Eric Story, Austrian Buyer)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is as tightly closed as a new rosebud, but suspicions of iron oxide and red cherry escape. On the palate this has a northerly, cool aspect and its very own, reticent charm. More iron oxide comes to the fore, along with earthiness and a mix of elderberry and red cherry. If you have the patience to wait until 2017–2018, this will come to you as a grown-up beauty. Its name Samt & Seide—velvet & silk—does it justice indeed." (3/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Inky ruby with violet highlights. Appealing aromas and flavors of wild cherry, blackberry and bitter chocolate. Youthfully ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "Reflecting lower average altitude and a higher percentage of loess soil than this year’s “regular” Grüner Veltliner Federspiel bottling, this evokes bacon-laced fresh green beans on the nose, which then mingle with piquant, minerally chard on an expansive yet firm palate. Smoke, salt and pepper encourage salivation and invigoration in a gripping and refreshingly juicy finish that might otherwise have come off as a bit austere. (DS)" (5/2015)
91 points Vinous: "This bottling’s brightly penetrating, juicy, transparent expression of apple, lime and grapefruit contrasts with the brusqueness of the corresponding generic Federspiel. A luscious but bright suggestion of kiwi adds further midpalate appeal, and an alliance of sizzling citrus peel and white pepper brings striking stimulation to an impressively sustained finish. (DS)" (2/2016)
91 points Vinous: "Leading with elusive scents of ginseng and sea spray, this goes on to deliver a buoyant, juicy, polished palate performance leading to an invigorating finish of tart, juicy lemon and apple seemingly suffused with white pepper, crushed stone and the alkalinity and salinity of the ocean. There’s more force, grip and depth here than in the corresponding generic bottling, if neither more charm nor perhaps more complexity – just another wonderful example of skilled hands and vintage virtues! (DS)" (11/2015)
Named "Austria's Wine-Grower of the Year" in 2003 by renowned wine magazine Falstaff, Heidi Schrock is the coolest female winemaker in Austria. Heidi has gathered experience from places like South Africa & Germany and brought it all back to her hometown of Rust. She took over the winery from her parents 20 years ago and has since spend much of her time reviving traditional wines of her Austro-Hungarian forefathers. The family motto states that tradition should be honored but also mixed with progress; for it means keeping alive the fire, not adoring the a... Read More »
Mostly Chardonnay, with a little Grüner Veltiner, this Austrian sparkling wine is technically an "extra brut," with only 3 grams per liter of residual sugar! According to noted wine importer Terry Theise, this is disgorged to order—and superb! "Huge fun, generous, snappy and biscuit."
Wine Spectator: "Dried red berry and raspberry flavors are chewy and fresh. Shows herbal notes at the edges, with a firm finish of dark chocolate. (Web Only—2012)" K&L Notes: Winzerkeller Andau is a 300-member co-op located in the tiny little village of Andau, on Austria's border with Hungary. In recent years, the governing body of Austrian wine co-ops has started to pay a premium for grapes, which has allowed the growers to lower yields and greatly improve quality. For you that means you get a better Zweigelt, but still at co-op prices.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Fresh lemon aromas on the clear and quite concentrated nose of the 2013 Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Kollmitz lead to a very opulent and dense palate. The wine is very rich, concentrated and monolithic, with a certain raciness... (ST)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: According to the winery: "In stony, mineral-rich soils - and limestone and slate as well - premium-quality grapes thrive. Karl Holzapfel strives to create clear, vibrant wines with fine fruit and distinctive character, ideal for enjoying every day, as well as dry, compact Smaragd wines with complex aromas and flavors an... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "This product of mid-November picking represents another of the small wonders of vintage 2014, inasmuch as it holds its own against its illustrious 2013 predecessor. Piquant green herbal aromas complement crab apple, fennel, lima bean and turnip on a polished, buoyant, brightly juicy palate. There are salivary-gland-tugging mineral elements here that defy naming but suggest oyster liquor as well as crystalline stoniness, and set up a dynamic, sustained finishing interplay with the wine’s fruit and vegetable elements. (DS)" (2/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a very zesty Grün ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Grüner Veltliner Fass 4 is sourced from the medium parts of the Hengstberg hill and includes parcels from Engabrunn, Feuersbrunn, Gösing and Fels and is almost completely sold for catering. Very clear and precise in its attractive white-fruit aromas and also pretty deep and gently spicy on the nose, this is a lean but mineral and lovely juicy Veltliner with a precise and elegant, salty and stimulating finish. This is a beauty of finesse and elegance. All the musts were fermented separately and assembled in February. This cuvée was bottled in Apr ...Read More »
Winzerkeller Andau is a 300-member co-op located in the tiny little village of Andau, on Austria's border with Hungary. In recent years, the governing body of Austrian wine co-ops has started to pay a premium for grapes that has allowed the growers to lower yields and greatly improve quality. For you that means you get a better Blaufränkisch, but still at co-op prices.
Rothman & Winter Orchard Pear Liqueur combines juice from the seasonal harvest of Williams Pears with an eau-de-vie produced from the same fruit. Destillerie Purkhart carefully selects its pears each season from family orchards in both South Tirol (the Alto Adige) and the Danube Valley. Product of Austria.
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Richard Zahel was the first to print “Gemischter Satz” on a contemporary wine label, effectively kicking off a renaissance for this traditional Viennese wine in the 2000s. Now he’s set his sights on bringing back orangetraube, a grape first documented in 1840. Pulling it off of 40-year-old vines in the Kadolzberg vineyard in the southwestern reaches of Vienna, he’s created an opulent white, creamy with plump, juicy yellow plum flavors that seem to hover on a raft of acidity. Those flavors last, a quiet vein of earth running underneath, giving the wine th ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tight but gently touched with ripe apple, lime and grapefruit, this wine is refreshing now, although it is still too closed to show its fuller fruits. This will flesh out with time but the wine will always be among the slender, invigorating Rieslings with a precise touch of minerality." (5/2014) K&L Notes: Grown on a single, south-facing vineyard in Stein. From the winery: "This wine comes from the very old vines in this vineyard – 50 years and more. This is a rich, concentrated, and nevertheless floral Riesling that offers subtle minerality."
The Rosenhof estate is set amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe. It is located near Lake Neusiedlersee on one side and in a district with many smaller, shallow lakes on the other. This special natural environment makes this wine region one of only a handful of regions in the world where the grapes are affected by noble rot on a regular basis. No wonder this area boasts many of the superstars of Austrian sweet wine production.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe, tropical overtones of mango and passion fruit accompany the more usual ripe pear notes of this concentrated wine. There are mineral hints on the palate, where weight, flavor and freshness are in perfect accord. This is lovely now but will age very gracefully." (3/2015)
Information from the winery: "A fruit-driven, pleasurable Zweigelt with aromas of cherries and fine tannins. Region & soils: Carnuntum wine region, sandy-loamy soils and loamy soils. After one week of maceration this wine is aged in 2000-liter-casks for nine months Food match: mild to slightly spicy dishes with red meat as well as Spanish and Mexican food."
Josef Jamek is one of those names that is synonymous when talking about the wines from the Wachau. The style is not heavy handed and shows what vineyard expression is all about. The Ried Achleiten is arguably one of the most famous vineyards in all of Austria. Rich minerals subdued by a core of fruit that is wound up and tight. Classic white pepper and flowers add to the savory and salty finish. (Eric Story, Austrian Buyer)
This is Austria's answer to Pinot Noir; in fact, the St-Laurent grape is an offspring. Silky, earthy, with an intriguing interplay of baking spice and dark fruits. From the winery: "It has a dark purple color with a fine and fruity nose. The structure of this wine is elegant with flavors of Morello cherry. It has pleasant acidity and a clear variety-typical character. It is a seductive wine with good length."
91 points Wine Spectator: "A powerful and savory white, with concentrated green peach, apple and white cherry flavors, accented by sage and white pepper notes. Lemon curd and chamomile details show on the finish. Drink now through 2020. (KM)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: From the winery: "Light straw-yellow; there is a bunch of spices on the nose, with underlying yellow fruit aromas, delicate white pepper; the appley flavors are wrapped in a spicy veil. This succulent and mouthfilling offering glides really easily across the palate, with a nice echo."
From indigenous Austrian varieties of peaches, this wonderful liqueur is a combination the fresh pressed juice of this seasonal fruit and an eau-de-vie of the same fruit. It captures the depth of flavor of one of nature's finest fruits perfectly. The juicy sweetness, the tart pulp, the slightly bitter skin, this is truly the total package. Enjoy by itself, make an excellent bellini, or try mixing in rum cocktails for endless tiki drinks!
91 points Wine & Spirits: "(Best Buy) A bright, blue-fruited blaufränkisch, this delivers the generous ripeness of the warm 2013 while managing to remain fresh and lively. Fermented spontaneously in open-top vats and free of any new wood, it’s all about fruit and earth, with dark, chewy tannins that hold the flavors long and firm—and suggest that this will age well for another five or six years in the cellar." (4/2016)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Subtle aromas of melon, tobacco and wet stone. Apricot and pepper flavors are given shape and definition by vibrant, well-integrated acidity. Finishes with good verve. This Grüner Veltliner is from an unusual vineyard, part of which is classified as Erste Lage. Neumayer bottles it only as a Reserve because he wants to market it earlier than would otherwise be allowed by the statutes. (JBP)" (9/2015)
From the producer: "All our wines are produced and matured in our family winery in Jois. Its old vaulted cellars provide an optimal environment for tender, attentive wine-making, and for the wines to peacefully age in large wooden barrels and barrique casks. Since the use of modern aids such as cultured yeasts or excessive cellar technology is avoided in production, we have succeeded in expressing the terroir more precisely. We ensure the quality of our grapes by doing a gentle and sustainable vineyard management. That includes low yields as well as han... Read More »