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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Enthusiast: "This shows the greenish scent of conference pear peel and its juicy, tart but ripe flesh. After up-front fruit, it refreshes with a superlight, lemony-fresh body. If you are looking for featherlight refreshment, the Grüners from the 2014 vintage will deliver zippy fruit." (7/2015) K&L Notes: 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 ... Read More »
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 the modern and the traditional. Their goal is to offer wines that show themselves from vineyard to bottle entirely in harmony with nature and the environment, from parcels planted around the famous wine-town Strass. Gaisberg, Galgenberg (that's the gallows-hill, folks), and Wechselberg are among the famous vineyard names to be found in the Etz collection. T... Read More »
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.
Wine Enthusiast: "This shows the greenish scent of conference pear peel and its juicy, tart but ripe flesh. After up-front fruit, it refreshes with a superlight, lemony-fresh body. If you are looking for featherlight refreshment, the Grüners from the 2014 vintage will deliver zippy fruit." (7/2015) K&L Notes: 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.
Wine Enthusiast: "Peppery notes of arugula and fresh lemon acidity add interest to this easy-drinking white." (8/2014) Wine Spectator: "Shows good concentration to the pippin apple and grapefruit flavors, seasoned with notes of white pepper. Features plenty of firm stony and mineral details as well, with a twist of lemon zest on the finish. (Web-2015)" K&L Notes: Jancis Robinson has called Hochterrassen "Probably the best value of the 'everyday' Grüners." According to the producer, "The grapes of this spritzy Grüner Veltliner come from high-altitude terraces in Stein and Krems. Grown on loess-conglomera... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Green, exquisitely ripe Conference pear with softer, leesy notes create a ripe yet fresh creaminess. There are fringes of spice but fresh fruit and lemony brightness are in the foreground here. Very refreshing and invigorating." (3/2015) 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 Reserve walks that fine line perfe... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Enticing notions of passion fruit and peach grab the attention first, but there is almost more interest in the peppery, zesty mouth-feel. Fresh but rounded." (8/2014) Wine & Spirits: "This is floral and fresh, an easy, limey grüner for drinking anytime." (4/2015) 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)
A bright, creamy rosé made from Zweitgelt, Austria's most beloved red grape. This is a refreshing everyday sipper that's great to drink on its own, but will stand up to hearty fare straight off the grill.
So, you're thinking about getting into Blaufränkisch? When exploring an "alternative" varietal like this, albeit a major red wine of Austria for centuries, we highly recommend starting with a top producer like Moric. Writing about a previous vintage, wine writer Jamie Goode called it, "A serious Austrian red: Moric Blaufrankisch." New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov also had praise: "The Blaufränkisch grape is grown mostly in Austria, where it makes a spicy red wine that can be graceful yet intense, complex yet tangy and refreshing. My favorite Blaufr... Read More »
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's perfect for Grüner. The juice is fermented and aged in stainless, highlighting the Gobelsburg terroir.
91 points Wine Spectator: "Lush, with light smoky accents to the ripe apple, pear and tangerine flavors. Offers crisp acidity and plenty of savory notes. The zesty finish is filled with accents of ripe citrus and allspice. Drink now through 2020." (11/2014)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Riper notions of juicy yellow pear play here, fringed by peppery leaves of arugula and zesty lemon freshness. It’s focused, precise and concentrated." (8/2014) Jancis Robinson: "RS 4 g/l. Cool and very fresh – mountain stream impression. Green fruit aromas. Light, lively and well balanced." (6/2014)
According to the winery: "In stony, mineral-rich soils - and limestone and slate as well - premium quality grapes are thriving. 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 flavours and a wonderful ageing potential."
92 points Wine Spectator: "Offers ripe aromas and flavors of beeswax and sage honey, with kiwifruit, melon and white currant hints. This has some dried mango notes, with an exuberant finish of white pepper and lemon curd." (11/2014)
From the Wine Maker: “My dream of having a winery with wines of style and international character has come true. Today, Wieninger stands for top wines that are from Vienna - and are internationally known. And as a forerunner of high quality wines from Vienna, it means a lot to me to create wines that the Viennese can be proud of.”
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 microclimates 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.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Yeasty, savory hints pervade nose and palate in an intriguing fashion, along with white pepper. The fruit is still subdued and lemony freshness is prevalent on the superlight body that nonetheless shows plenty of Grüner character. If you like zippy wines, you will fall in love with this." (7/2015)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Jamek's 2014 Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Achleiten starts invitingly clear, fresh and fragrant on the intense but also "light" nose, mixing vegetal and fruity aromas with spicy mineral notes. The attack on the mouth is enervating and vibrant and the intense taste ...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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From a Gobelsburg plateau clutered with pebbles big as a fist, the 2013 Grüner Veltliner Steinsetz is a clear and aromatic classic of the variety with tobacco leafs, peas, apples, white pepper powder and floral aromas on the nose followed by a full-bodied and piquant palate with juicy cox orange aromas and a marked acidity. Quite salty in the aftertaste this is a quite powerful wine to be served from the decanter in its first year. (SR)" (10/2014)
Wine & Spirits: "This is made from orangetraube, a rare grape discovered in Germany in 1840 and now found primarily in Burgenland (albeit in minute amounts). Richard Zahel makes one of the only varietal examples, a broad, spicy white with orange blossom scents, lemon and peach flavors and a slightly oily texture. It has the weight to pair with pork chops." (4/2015)
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Schön is a steep, terraced slope of slate and gneiss rising up behind the Högl winery, at the far western end of the Wachau, where the climate is cool and crisp. That combination of soil and climate created a slim but powerful Federspiel in 2013, dense in its yellow-lentil flavors and firm in its minerality. What’s remarkable is the brightness of its acidity, cleansing and refreshing." (4/2015) K&L Notes: Vibrant melon and citrus bounce out of the glass along with spun tangerine honey and white pepper. Very well balanced with a medium-bodied structure which is a litt... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a ripe, fruity nose, with flavors to match, including dried apricot, baked pear and apple tart. Dried herbal accents add complexity to this rich and well-spiced version. The buoyant finish is framed by honey notes. Drink now through 2020." (6/2015) K&L Notes: 92-94 points from Austria's Falstaff wine guide! The guide's tasting notes (Peter Moser, 6/2013) describe this vintage as having spicy herbal notes with dark minerality underlying yellow tropical fruits; sweet, elegant texture with fine extract, fresh acidity, and a lively structure with citrus nuances. T... 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.
Blaufrankisch (a.k.a. Lemberger and Kékfrankos) is a black-skinned wine grape grown widely in Austria and Hungary, and to a lesser extent in neighboring Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Croatia. Tiny quantities are also grown in the United States, most notably in New York's Finger Lakes but also in various parts of Washington (the Rattlesnake Hills, Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley), and such far-flung states as California, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Colorado. The common feature in Blaufrankisch wines from all of these places is a ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a fragrant, softly aromatic wine that has ripe fruit, spicy texture and gentle acidity. It’s a wine for drinking now to enjoy its juicy white fruits, almonds and chalky final texture." (2/2014)
Jancis Robinson: "Bright mid crimson. Fresh and lively on the nose with red and dark fruit, mostly cherry, with the lightest note of sweet spice, vanilla and a delicate floral note. Fragrant rather than strident. Juicy and fresh, crunchy fruit and a light but definite tannic grip. Best drunk on the fruit though it has the structure to be kept for a few years. (JH)" (8/2013) Wine & Spirits: "Super-youthful, this is jammy with purple fruit. It has a little raw oak spice and grip; for smoked ribs." (4/2014)
Inventory: San Francisco
From the winery: "In 1993 we decided to focus on winegrowing. In the course of time we have cultivated 30 hectares of wine area and have pressed sweet wine out of Welschriesling, Chardonnay, Sämling (Scheurebe), Muskat Ottonel, Traminer and Weißburgunder. We vinify dry and tartaric red wine from Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our varieties of wine can be found on the wine lists of restaurants all over the world, which makes us very proud. That is why we take on the challenge “sweet wine” every year anew."
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.
From the Importer: "Although the family has making wine for 300 years, Johann Heinrich and his wife Gerti managed within a decade to become known as one of Austria's leading red wine producers. In the beginning of the 90s his wine was sold in bulk bottles, now they are among the elite of Austrian red wines....The Heinrichs currently have 54 acres planted in red grapes; a size they feel enables them to pursue quality without compromise. They use only their own estate grown grapes, guaranteeing the best possible wines...Their pride and joy is the Goldberg ... Read More »
Notes from the Winery: "The Riesling Kamptaler Terrassen 2013 has very pure, attractive primary fruit (classic apricot & peach, tangerine & citrus), floral elements, herbs and green tea. The wine is open at the front with a hint of minerality and floral aroma. It is straight-forward and quite fresh on the palate with vibrant fruit, medium body, and perfectly balanced structure. This wine shows very good potential."
The Pollers are quietly making really great wines in the now-becoming-fashionable Weinviertal (wine quarter) to the northeast of Vienna and they are starting to get noticed. They went organic in '95 and are on the way to becoming certified. This bottling is their drinker, a fresh and zesty wine not to fuss over, just to enjoy with friends and let your mind unwind. It has a lovely nose of grapefruit and snap pea, with hints of white pepper, spring flowers and wet stones.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From a Gobelsburg plateau clutered with pebbles big as a fist, the 2013 Grüner Veltliner Steinsetz is a clear and aromatic classic of the variety with tobacco leafs, peas, apples, white pepper powder and floral aromas on the nose followed by a full-bodied and piquant palate with juicy cox orange aromas and a marked acidity. Quite salty in the aftertaste this is a quite powerful wine to be served from the decanter in its first year." (10/2014) K&L Notes: From the Winery: "In the vineyards of Gobelsburg, the terroir is different to what is found in the rest of the Kam... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Presents light, smoky notes on the nose, with powerful yellow plum, white currant and raspberry flavors. Hints of mocha lead to a finish full of ripe melon and candied citrus elements. Complex." (11/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug shows a clear and citrus-fresh bouquet with subtle pip fruit aromas on the nose, including hints of ginger. With 12% alcohol, this is a light to medium-bodied but stunningly complex, intense and tension-filled wine with a pure and lingering mineral character and a lovely piquant acidity. In its mineral character, the 20 ...Read More »
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-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 that 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.
Umathum has become known over the past few years for just plain getting more different rhythms, tunes and textures out of the good old Zweigelt bush than nearly anybody. He does this by means of extraordinarily careful and painstaking selection when planting his vineyards, watchful control of the crop size, and then detailed hand harvesting and selection. The wines then ferment with indigenous yeast, and are aged in large wooden barrels fashioned from Austrian oak.
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.
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lemon peel and yeast are in the starring roles for now, showing miso-like savor with smoky edges and glimpses of white pepper. The fruit will come later. For now, this is pure, textural pleasure, with a very clean-cut finish." (5/2014)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sweet pear fruit is highlighted by glints of crisp apple. Together they focus onto a concentrated midpalate where acidity lends a clean-cut finish." (5/2014) Wine & Spirits: "From a dry, steep slope of granite and gneiss, this is round, rich and honeyed, so ripe the fruit pulls in a red direction, pineapple moving toward mango and cherry. Grüner’s white pepper spice puts a brake on the sweetness, although some drinkers may still find this thick. Give it time and a rich dish, like veal saltimbocca." (4/2014)
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Stadt Krems cultivates three quarters of this prestigious four-hectare terraced cru which was first mentioned in 1180. The south-facing cru, which is planted with Riesling on gneiss soils, is Fritz Miesbauer's most beloved vineyard. He invested a lot since the terraces were heavily damaged by rainfalls in 2002. Hand-picked in the middle of November and fermented and aged during eight months in stainless steel, the 2013 Grillenparz Riesling is paying back now. Bright citrus colored. this precise, fresh and lovely wine offers intense as well as elegant fru ...Read More »
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!
Wine Enthusiast: "Lifted citrus- and pear-scented refreshment describes this wine’s purpose. Zesty lemon peel balanced by lots of green pear fruit makes a winning combination." (8/2014) K&L Notes: Neuburger is an Austrian crossing of Roter Veltliner and Sylvaner. Erwin Tinhof is an 11th generation organic winemaker who specialty is to nurture the indigenous varietals of Austria. The vines for this wine are grown in deep dark soils and are meticulously handpicked each harvest. Full of spice and aromas of fresh valley spring flowers and backed up by a subdued power and juicy structure. ... Read More »
60 % Grüner Veltliner, 40 % Neuburger. Bright, fruity and fresh. Very clean in style with good fruit character along with subtle earthy components. A perfect wine to have with appetizers, fresh salads and fish.
Inventory: San Francisco