More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

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More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:57 am

Here's a silly observation: every time I spend at least $15 for an Austrian white wine, it's dazzled me. Some less have done so as well, but over that price I have yet to be disappointed. No matter the grape, no matter the vintage, every single one of them seems like another attempt at perfection. Whether or not any of them entirely gets there is less important than the consistency with which these wines seem to try.

So there I was today shopping for viognier, a grape I do not care for which no doubt colored the gratitutde and enthusiasm with which I allowed myself to get distracted by the chance discovery of two bottles of 2004 Brundlmayer Langenloiser Steinmassel riesling. Brundlmayer! In my clever little town! And just sitting there like diamonds on a gravel path waiting for me to find them!

So they are home, and they are looking forward to being relocated to another corner of the cellar because I have enough Austrian wines now to justify giving them a cubby all their own.

But what do I have? Is Steinmassel the vineyard and Langenloiser, or perhaps just Langenlois, the appellation? Has anyone tasted this wine? When should I schedule them for drinking?

In case anyone's curious, I paid $27 ea for these.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:20 am

Jenise wrote:

But what do I have? Is Steinmassel the vineyard and Langenloiser, or perhaps just Langenlois, the appellation? Has anyone tasted this wine? When should I schedule them for drinking?


Pending Michael Pronay's far more educated response, I'll chime in: Langenlois is the town, located in the Kamptal region, where Bründlmayer's winery is; Steinmassel is the vineyard, also in Langenlois. Alas, I can't tell you much about the wine except that it's well made and probably very tasty.

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Re: More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby Michael Pronay » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:28 am

Mark got it spot on.

Jenise, take a look at Willi Bründlmayer's range of wines (in English):

http://www.bruendlmayer.com/com/weine/w ... /index.php

You will find that this wine is something like mid-term between his basic rieling blend (Kamptaler Terrassen) and his top three (Heiligenstein, Alte Reben, Lyra).

Anyhow, there is an absolutely simple method to judge an unknown Austrian Riesling or Grüner Veltliner: If the alcohol is 12.5% or lower, you have basic quaility, if it's 13% or higher you get serious stuff. This would hold true for some 99% of these wines.
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Re: More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:57 am

Jenise,

The 2004 Steinmassel is a very tasty Riesling. I have the 2002 in my cellar, and it's just a bottle full of rocks!
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Re: More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:15 am

Mark, Michael and David, thank you for your help. Michael, I just read through the site--thanks, that was a big help. Interesting to see they also make a chardonnay and even a variety of cabernet. Also, got to read a little about the 02 Brut, which I have a bottle of, though I was disappointed that it didn't break down the grape constituents. Might just open it tonight, as I've got a pair of bubbly fanatics coming to spend a few days with us. It's always fun to spring something unusual on them.

But here's another question for you guys. Among the list of rieslings on the site was a Zöbinger Heiligenstein and a Heiligenstein Lyra. Is this merely a coincidence of the same name being in one case a vineyard and in another the town, or does the protocol for naming the town first change in some instances?
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Re: More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby Arnt Egil Nordlien » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:26 pm

Jenise wrote:But here's another question for you guys. Among the list of rieslings on the site was a Zöbinger Heiligenstein and a Heiligenstein Lyra. Is this merely a coincidence of the same name being in one case a vineyard and in another the town, or does the protocol for naming the town first change in some instances?


Same vineyard (Heiligenstein) in the town Zöbing. Lyra is a way of training the vines. It gives lower yields, better concentration and IMO a sweeter fruit. Because of the latter I seem to like the Heiligenstein alte reben better (yes there are three cuvees from that vineyard).
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Re: More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby Michael Pronay » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:27 pm

Jenise wrote:Also, got to read a little about the 02 Brut, which I have a bottle of, though I was disappointed that it didn't break down the grape constituents.

That's an easy one: In priciple the two main varieties used in champagne (chardonnay + pinot noir), the third — pinot meunier — substituted by pinot blanc.

But here's another question for you guys. Among the list of rieslings on the site was a Zöbinger Heiligenstein and a Heiligenstein Lyra. Is this merely a coincidence of the same name being in one case a vineyard and in another the town, or does the protocol for naming the town first change in some instances?

Jenise, Zöbing is a village within the limits of the town (= Gemeinde = commune = parish) of Langenlois. "Heiigenstein" is the best vineyard site of the region.

Just had half an hour talk with Thomas Klinger, Willi's right hand. In priciple, both wines come from Zöbinger (village name) Heiligenstein (vineyard site), but for simply onomatopoetic reasons the term "Zöbinger" was eliminated for the "Lyra".

"Lyra", however, ist not the name of a village or vineyard site, but the name of a trellising system.

Don't know whether everything is clear — don't hesitate to ask if anything remais unclear!!
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Re: More Austrian wine talk: Brundlmayer

Postby alex metags » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:51 pm

Incidentally NYT has posted an article on Terry Theise and Austrian wines today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/19/dining/19thei.html (registration required)

On related note, can anyone recommend some good Zweigelt? Had a few in the past that I enjoyed, but don't recall from which producers...

cheers,
al
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