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A 92-Point, Sub-$19 Staff and Customer Favorite White Wine Value - 02/11/2018 - Austria

At K&L, we are huge fans of the Austrian grape Grüner Veltliner, as in the hands of a talented producer it offers unparalleled verve, vibrancy, and thirst quenching drinkability. One estate that has consistently managed to brilliantly deliver this coveted trifecta (and quickly become a staff and customer favorite in the process) is Bernhard Ott. Given its somewhat off the beaten path nature, we don’t regularly feature Grüners, but when one is a good as the 2016 Bernhard Ott "Am Berg,” we see it as our duty to sing its praises. Bernhard Ott is a fourth generation winemaker and is known as one of the true innovators in the Austrian region of Wagram. Employing biodynamic practices and notable fastidiousness in the cellar, Ott teases out the very best in his grapes. At a recent tasting, this 2016 left our staff more than impressed. Citrus fruit, slate, wildflowers, and savory spice all join the create a wine that’s more than the sum of its parts. Given its range and depth of flavor, we had to double check to make sure we got the price right. It’s not often you find a wine this detailed and expressive under the $20 mark. Go ahead and drink this 2016s on its own or pair with lighter fare, either way you’ll be more than delighted. If you are new to Grüner Veltliner, this "Am Berg" is an ideal launching point and a terrific way to expand your horizons.

Staff Image

2016 Bernhard Ott "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner Niederösterreich (Biodynamic) ($18.99)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lovely, herb-tinged fragranceas fresh as aloe vera and as aromatic as fig leafjumps out of the glass in this wine. The palate contributes yeasty earthiness and concentration, all highlighted by freshness and verve. The finish is clean and zesty. (AK)" (07/2017)

91 points James Suckling: "Lots of lemon, in fact you get the zest, the pith and the juice in this vibrant, lighter grüner veltliner. A surprising amount of depth at the finish. Drink now or hold. Screw cap." (10/2017)

K&L Notes: The Ott family has been growing and producing wine in the region of Wagram in Lower Austria since 1889. Bernhard Ott is of the fourth generation and has managed the winery since 1995, when he took the helm from his father, expanding the estate to 28 ha in Feuersbrunn and Engabrunn. Bernhard Ott is a cult icon in the world of Austrian wine, leading the way in the Wagram region through meticulous vineyard management in some of Austria’s best vineyards. At a young age he has already received Austria’s highest accolade as Falstaff’s Winemaker of the Year in 2008.

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 07, 2018

Looking for a very serious white wine at a very un-serious price. Bernhard Ott Am Berg is a cut above. This Biodynamic Gruner boasts the classic white pepper, citrus, apple flavors and a vivid acidity. If you are a lover of a good Riesling, Pinot Grigio or some of the fruitier Sauvignon Blancs, this is a great variety to expand your horizons. With incredible mineral characteristics and a dry, zesty finish, this complex wine is a tastebud big-hitter. If you ever wonder what Wagram, Austria would taste like, its right in this bottle. With incredible snap of mineral notes and a dry, zesty finish, this is a great wine to dip your foot in the water for high end Gruner without the price tag. Had this with Indian food the other night but really pairs well with the hard to match vegetables. Enjoy!

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

This is one of my favorite Gruners in the store, and I'm thrilled to see its return. Bernhard Ott is certified biodynamic, employing a "whole vineyard" philosophy by planting cover crops and adding compost to the soil versus fertilizing individual vines, and homeopathic tinctures and remedies to treat vineyard problems. This is one of my favorite wines to drink alone, but it especially shines with food. It's fresh, clean and has some texture without being a full-bodied wine. Notes of snap peas and cucumber lend a sweet green note with classic aromas of white pepper, melon and yellow plum. Just spectacular!

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

This wine has a glacial quality to it. The flavor profile is cool, almost chilled, it is intense but builds slowly, and it has a gentle yet cutting acidity. Chilled grapefruit, soft mineral notes, and delicate spice on the nose. The palate is light, crisp, and mouthwatering, echoing all of the aromatics. This is serious Gruner and at a very reasonable price.

Staff ImageBrian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 12, 2018

Bernhard Ott was already a favorite Gruner producer here at K&L before I started so I cannot take credit for the introduction, but we can all bask in the beauty of the current offerings! 2015 was a lovely wine and a staff pick last year, but in 2016 Bernhard was able to add even more depth and complexity to this biodynamic wine. On the nose I found a variety of grapefruit notes (white and pink) intertwined with mineral water and white pepper. The weight on the nose was impressive for a Gruner and seemed to have a heavier yellow plum base propping up the citrus we are so accustomed too. On the palate the body is lush with grapefruit again and now key lime joins. There is a green leafy herb element that tries to conjure echoes parsley or cilantro. A very expressive wine by a master winemaker and a perennial K&L staple!

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 10, 2018

"Am Berg" Gruner Veltliner from Bernhard Ott has become a beloved wine and go-to for us here at K&L. Consistent and delicious every year, 2016 vintage is brisk, fresh and crunchy. It's full of bright lemon and pomelo fruit supported by serious minerality coming from loess soil in the vineyard. Done entirely in stainless steel to preserve purity of fruit and freshness this wine still has great mid-palate that turns into long lasting finish.