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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine & Spirits: "Ripe and sweet with honeysuckle notes on the tropical fruit, this is a summertime patio pounder. (Good Value)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: 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 (tha... Read More »
From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the 4th generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this is the perfect liter - fresh, light and snappy; delivering all the thirst quenching qualities you look for in a wine like this.
From one of the top sites in the Kamptal, Michaela Haas is the 4th generation of this family to run the 23 ha domaine. Previous vintages recommended by Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide.
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.
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.
From importer Terry Theise: "Nigl Kremser Freiheit is named for the village of Krems, on the banks of the Danube river, and the German word for Freedom - 'Freiheit' . This wine was sourced from 3 vineyards in Krems and is picked earlier than the grapes in Senftenberg, where Martin Nigl’s other vineyards and winery are located. Raised in stainless steel and bottled at night when the wine is cold, to preserve freshness, Freiheit shows pear and lime peel notes as well as floral and grassy components, with a clean mineral finish."
The dark-skinned St. Laurent grape, which is distantly related to Pinot Noir but makes a hearty wine in Austria, originated in the Alsace. It is well-suited to the continental climate of Austria and lends itself to aging in oak. The Allram St. Laurent grows on the Gaisberg slopes below the famed Riesling of that area.
Wine Enthusiast: "Peppery notes of arugula and fresh lemon acidity add interest to this easy-drinking white." (8/2014) 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-conglomerate soils this dry wine has a lovely bouquet of fine citrus and fresh herbs." Stelvin cap.
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.
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)
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 »
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.
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.
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.
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: "A faintly reductive machine-oil-like smoky-sweetness rises from the glass of Neumayer 2011 Gruner Veltliner Engelberg, which then however displays snap and juicy brightness of lettuces, artichoke and lime on a firm palate, leading to a lingering and invigorating finish. Plan to enjoy it through 2015." (4/2014) K&L Notes: Crystalline and vibrant in color with a yellow green tinge. An exciting and bright aromatic of fresh apples mixed with subtle baking spice and soft green herbs which give way to a palate of wet mineral and juicy white fruits which then give way to an... 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 »
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)
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 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!
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 little tight upon opening but expands with air. Decant if drinking in the near term or cellar for 5+ years. Before taking over the family winery, Josef Högl worked the vines of legendary vintners Franz Xavier (F.X.) Pichler and Franz Prager, and there are those who say that his wines already rival those of his employers. Lucky for you, since his name has not attained such superstar status (yet), t... Read More »
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 »
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.
Ilse and Josef Maier organically farm about 20 hectares of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling in Austria's Kremstal region. Planted to the deep loess soils of the Rosensteig Vineyard on the slopes of the Danube, this wine is a mouthwatering, complex version of what Grüner Veltliner can achieve in the right hands and terroir. Floral, with stone fruit fleshiness and a refreshing mint component, the 2013 Geyerhof Rosensteig is equally at home with spicy Asian fare, smoked fish or a fancy sausage with plenty of sauerkraut and spicy mustard.
Wine & Spirits: "** Best Buy ** Juicy and open, this is a modern St. Laurent, the chocolate-cherry fruit expansive and giving. The oak fights a bit with the earth for primacy; pair with a steak to see which wins out." (4/2014) K&L Notes: The Stiegelmar family has been making wine in the town of Gols since 1571. Patriarch Georg was named 'Winemaker of the Year' at the 1995 International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, and son Axel interned at Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley and in Bordeaux with Count Neipperg at Canon-La-Gaffeliere. At Juris, a four-story gravity flow fac... Read More »
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. Good alongside an array of cuisine, ranging from classic roasted white meats to exotic spiced vegetarian to sushi. (Eric Story, Austrian Buyer)
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.
From the winery: "A very attractive fruit bouquet yields apple, peach and citrus aromas along with beautiful minerality, a typical Veltliner spiciness and a touch of white pepper along with. The soft and juicy palate is supported by fine acidity. So harmonious and perfect to drink. A very palatefriendly wine.
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. Good value for money. A perfect match with seafood and summer salads. No maceration, gentle pressing; the must was preclarified by settling for 20 hours, followed by fermentation with cultured yeast and storage in steel tanks."
Inventory: San Francisco
This single-vineyard Grüner typically displays the racy charm, glycerol richness, and the range of herbal and fruit notes that top-notch Grüner can achieve in the cool Wachau valley.
91 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and somewhat tannic, with juicy, chewy flavors of ripe citrus, nectarine and dried apricot. Honeydew melon notes extend on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases made. –KM" (4/2014)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark garnet. Aromas of black cherry and raspberry interwoven with minerals. Concentrated, crisp and nicely balanced, with bright red berry fruit lifted by a hint of citrus. Still youthful, showing abundant tannins." (12/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "Zantho is a joint venture between winemakers Josef Umathum and Wolfgang Peck. This Blaufränkisch sums up the goal of the winery: to make wines that are accessible and fruity. There is a lightly herbal, medicinal quality accompanying the red fruit flavors. Not for aging. Glass stopper." (12/2012) K&L Notes: Dark ruby, fruity and fiery aromas which ... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "RS 2.8 g/l. Creamy and tense with real grip and structure underneath all those minerals and fruit. 17.5/20 points. Drink 2016-2025" (6/2014)