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The Story

Grape variety: Grüner Veltliner

Harvest yield: 4,500 l / ha

Date of harvest: September 30 – October 18, 2016

Alcohol content: 12.5%

Bottle closure type: Screw cap

Vineyards: This Grüner Veltliner is a blend of wines sourced from different terraced vineyards. The elevated terraces consist of stonier soils (schisted granite). The vines there show aromatic expression, good acidity, elegant stone fruit and lots of minerals. The lower sited terraces mostly of layered fertile loess show more body and ripeness. By combining those two characteristics we get a really classic Grüner Veltliner with both finesse and a certain vigor.

Maturation: The wine is fermented at semi-cool temperatures between 15-20°C.

Food pairing recommendation: A perfect companion to many starters such as smoked trout, ham, cold vegetables, sea food, tapas, or fresh marinated goat cheese with herbs; also very good with fish barbecue, or roasted chicken, Asian dishes if not too hot such as Dim Sum, or Wok, fine with ‘Vegan Cuisine’.

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Written Notes

The coolish nose of the 2018 Riesling Kamptal Terrassen opens with very clear, bright fruit and floral aromas of white flowers and crushed stones. Juicy round and elegant on the palate, this is a well-balanced Riesling with delicate grip and good texture. Very good. Tasted in September 2019.

Sometimes you need two tries to discover the greatness of a vintage. My first encounter with Willi Bründlmayer's 2018 Erste Lage wines at Schloss Grafenegg was pretty disappointing. So, I took the chance and met up with him and his estate manager Andreas Wickhoff MW, who also has a significant impact on the viticulture, harvest and winemaking. In the end, I spent several hours in the domain in Langenlois and tasted a wide range of wines, not only the white 2018s but also older vintages of the Heiligenstein, which is one of the greatest Riesling sites on planet wine for me. In fact, you won't discover the full potential of Bründlmayer's 2018 Heiligenstein selections if you don't take all the time you need and they deserve. In the end, however, you will see that there is most probably no better combination of vintage and winemaker for the Heiligenstein history than Bründlmayer's 2018s. These are world-class white wines, and they spurred me to re-taste all the other 2018 Heiligenstein Rieslings I could get the other day. And yes, there was a gap, and the gap was huge. In 2018, the harvest began earlier than ever before at Bründlmayer, on August 20 for sparkling wine. The average temperature of the vintage was two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 30-year average and, after 2003, the hottest year since record-keeping began.

Nevertheless, heavy rainfall on the first and second of September (with 70 liters of precipitation per square meter in Langenlois) forced Bründlmayer to make rigorous selections when harvesting Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. The Grüner Veltliner, on the other hand, was grateful for the urgently needed water and, in addition to sugar and strength, for a broad spectrum of aromas. The Veltliners then ripened very quickly, after they had already reached an average of 95° Oechsle at the end of August, so Bründlmayer had to prioritize the different locations. The thick-skinned Riesling, on the other hand, was still able to hang on, especially since it had not yet developed any intense fruit aromas in September. Although it was decimated after the rain, it nevertheless built up a "beautiful" botrytis, which led to a Heiligenstein "Essenz" Trockenbeerenauslese that I haven't tasted yet and which had to be bottled with more than 400 grams of residual sugar—at 6.5% alcohol and a total acidity of about 19 grams per liter! Nevertheless, at Bründlmayer, they still left the Veltliner hanging, in the Ried Lamm, for example, for another four weeks. "The must weights went down again after the rain and then only increased slowly and, at some point, not at all, but probably aromatically," Willi Bründlmayer explains. At 40 hectoliters per hectare, the average yield was also not very high for the Veltliner, whereas the Riesling was more generous. But back to the three Heiligenstein selections, of which the Lyra and even more so the Old Vines selections are nothing less than spectacular. The most popular with the public is the classic version Kamptal, of which 7,000 bottles were filled. Of the two Kamptal Reserve Selections Lyra and Alte Reben, however, there are only 2,500 bottles each, which is something to look out for if you are a Riesling aficionado. To be on the safe side, I would like to mention again that Bründlmayer has not been using botrytis berries for dry wines since 2013. Botrytis is always selected, either negatively (i.e., thrown to the ground) or positively, for sweet wine. Especially for Andreas Wickhoff, 2018 is a Riesling year not only chez Bründlmayer but also along the Danube River. T

his is already proven by the cooler Steinmassel, which was harvested on October 17th, one week after the Lyra and the Alte Reben from the Heiligenstein. "The Lyra plot is slowly reaching an interesting age," Wickhoff thinks. Willi Bründlmayer planted the vineyard in 1979 with the Lyra trellising, which is unusual here in Austria. Actually, the Lyra and the Alte Reben were supposed to come together for the first time in 2018 for a single reserve Heiligenstein, but Wickhoff did not allow this to happen: "Out of the question," he cries, weeks after the decision was made and a few days after the bottling in August 2019. "Both wines are completely different and do not go together. For me, the 2018 is the best interpretation of the Alte Reben Selection for 10 or even 20 years. The acidity is completely present and all components play together harmoniously. Even if it is completely closed at the moment, I know exactly where the journey is heading here. One day we will have a huge drinking flow." I have always been a fan of Bründlmayer's Pinot Noirs, but I was blown away about the quality of the 2017s and 2016 Reserve. These are arguably some of Austria's finest red wines and have reached a level that I never thought they would be able to do. Try them! This year I will focus more on the Burgundian wines at Bründlmayer, so Pinot Noir but also Pinot Gris and certainly Chardonnay.

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Langenlois, Kamptal

Other wines from this producer

Brundlmayer Brut

Bründlmayer Brut Rosé

Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben

Bründlmayer Pinot Noir

Bründlmayer Riesling Heilingenstein Lyra

Brut Vintage

Cabernet Franc Vincent


Extra brut

Gelber Muskateller Eiswein

Grüner Veltliner Berg-Vogelsang

Grüner Veltliner Käferberg

Grüner Veltliner Lamm

Grüner Veltliner Ried Loiserberg

Langenloiser Alte Reben Grüner Veltliner

Ried Loiser Berg Grüner Veltliner

Riesling Heiligenstein Alte Reben

Riesling Steinmassel

Riesling Steinmassel

Vincent's Spiegel Grüner Veltliner

Zöbinger Heiligenstein Alte Reben Riesling

Zöbinger Heiligenstein Lyra Riesling

Zöbinger Heiligenstein Riesling

Zweigelt Reserve


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