Thu 21 Aug 2014

The Wine Gang Review Our Austrian Wines


We have been delighted with members’ response to our first-ever offer of Austrian wines.

Sarah Knowles, buyer for Austria

Sarah Knowles, buyer for Austria

Explore Austria is available until Sunday 31st while stocks last (and some are already running out!) features a wealth of new discoveries selected by our new buyer Sarah Knowles, aiming to shine a light on this exciting and oft-underrated wine-producing country.

If you’re not sure where to start, Sarah has written a new guide, How To Buy Austria, while the below reviews from The Wine Gang (a collective of top wine writers Tom Cannavan, Joanna Simon, Anthony Rose, Jane Parkinson and David Williams) may also be of help.

They note that ‘Prices per bottle are all modest by Austrian standards (where £9 or so is entry level) but this is a really solid set of 87- to 90-point wines that would make a fine introduction to the country’s main red and white wine grapes and styles.’

Here are some of their reviews:


Rainer Wess Wachauer Riesling 2013 (£11.50)
There’s a tinge of gold to the colour here that immediately suggests ripeness and concentration. On the nose it has depth, with touches of straw and grapefruit, and lots of character. On the palate it is off-dry – just – with so much ripeness and hint of sugar playing against a blast of orange and grapefruit bittersweet fruit and rushing acidity. Gorgeous stuff, with length and delicate spices around that shimmering finish. What a class act for cooling down on balmy August days. 91/100

Bernhard Ott Am Berg Grüner Veltliner 2013 (£10.95)
Founded in 1889, Bernhard Ott is a family-owned company and the current Bernhard is the fourth generation of the family to run the business. This is an extremely pale, delicate, sherbet and floral scented take on GruV, with a palate that is racy and Riesling-like, with cool minerals, tart apple and cleansing lemony acidity. A hint of spice adds more interest to a very appealing, long and balanced wine. 90/100

The Wine Gang

The Wine Gang

Schloss Gobelsburg Lössterrassen Grüner Veltliner 2013 (£9.95)
Schloss Gobelsburg is the estate of the Cistercian monastery at Zwettl which has produced wine for more than 800 years. Singingly crisp, citrus nose with real brightness, a touch of star fruit and crunchy Asian pear. On the palate this is light, clear and refreshing, with a hint of mid-palate sweetness before a rush of cleansing, summery acidity. Lovely aperitif or white fish style. 89/100

Hannes Sabathi Scheurebe 2013 (£8.95)
Styria is a relatively new quality wine region in the south of the country, where Sauvignon Blanc has been a big success. But Hannes Sabathi are masters of aromatic varieties, and this Scheurebe is peachy and floral, flecked with green herbs, and succulent. It is really quite dry on the palate despite the floral enticement of the nose, quite full bodied, but long, lemony and tangy. Refreshing and different. 87/100


Hans Igler Zweigelt Classic 2011 (£9.50)
Zweigelt is Austria’s other important indigenous red grape, actually a cross between Blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurent. Brimming with clove and cheery, and the loveliest floral nuances of freesia and violet, the aromatic fireworks give way to a juicy palate, all tart cherry and cherry skins, spices and an earthy, dusty gravel dryness with grippy tannins and relatively high acidity to add freshness. Serve lightly chilled with tomato-based dishes. 89/100

Tinhof Noir Burgenland Zweigelt & Co 2011 (£9.50)
A blend of Austria’s three principle indigenous red varieties, Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St Laurent, this is both spicy and boldly fruity, with a nice overlay of cedar on ripe berry fruit. On the palate there is sweetness and ripeness, a softer structure than some of the straight varietals in this Wine Society offer, but a nicely spice-touched, firm note in the finish. 87/100

Categories : Austria, Other Europe


  1. Bruni de la Motte says:

    I’m delighted about your offer of Austrian wine. I’ve been a fan of Austrian wine for years and always regretted that you couldn’t get it in this country. Gone are the days when you could bring boxes on the plane as hand luggage. Yes, this is what we used to do! So congranulations to the Wine Society for introducing Austrian wine to this country. Absolutely delicious!

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