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Austrian Wines

Loimer Wine Competition

Austria’s 4000 years of winemaking history has seen more twists and turns than a downhill skier. It careered off-piste for a bit with mass-production, got walloped navigating several wars and hit some bumpy moguls at the hands of phylloxera and scandal, but it seems to have tucked itself into a more streamlined position and is building up some serious momentum. Adopting a “small is beautiful” approach Austria is concentrating on boutique wines. It produces some very serious Rieslings as well as some fantastic reds, which are remarkably chunky for such a cool climate. Once upon a time it was seen as a clone of Germany, but where the Germans have struggled to make their wine

Purchase either Loimer Langenlois Kamptal Gruner Veltliner or Loimer Sparkling Extra Brut NV between the 14th June 2017 and the 1st August 2017 for a chance to win a holiday for 2 to Vienna.

As sharp as the edge of a ski and more refreshing than face planting into a snow drift, Grüner Veltliner is one of the most food friendly wines out there. The characteristics of this grape variety are mineral, citrus and peach flavours, combined with an unusual spicy note akin to white pepper and the ability to be so fashionable you could drink it in lederhosen and a Tyrolean hat and still look cool.

Instantly recognisable with its flag topped bottles, Austrian wine has found its course and is now speeding towards the finish line while its competitors just watch, wonder how and shake their cow bells in congratulation.  

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  1. Salomon Groovey Grüner Veltliner Austrian White Wine

    Salomon Groovey Gruner Veltliner 2015

    £11.50

    £11.50

    Once in while a wine comes along whose anonymity sells it to those who want to be drinking something that no one else is drinking. Now this doesn't always guarantee a good wine but in this case we have an absolute winner.

    Characterised by its own hallmark style but still crisp, dry, fruity and approachable this is a wine with really remarkable appeal. A dry white with that lovely hard-to-grasp balance that every white drinker wants. This fish deserves a bigger pond!
  2. Huber Riesling Nussdorfer 2014

    Huber Riesling Nussdorfer 2016

    £12.00

    £12.00

    Chalk. It's good stuff. Back in the halcyon days before white boards, school kids relied on chalk to learn about isosceles triangles and other incredibly forgettable items of information. However, chalk is responsible for something else that is much more memorable.

    Yes, the chalk hills of the Traisental in northern Austria give Markus Huber's Riesling vines a healthy work out as they plunge deeper in the soil in search of water. Along the way, they pick up characterful mineral qualities, which appear alongside the citrus and apricot notes in the final wine and chalk up another victory for this most learned of winemakers. 10/10.
  3. Pittnaeur Pitti 2015 Austrian Wine

    Pittnauer Pitti 2015

    £12.50

    £12.50

    If the Hammer Horror studios had made a film about wine it might have starred Zweigelt. A hybrid of the Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent grapes, it was created in Austria's Klosterneuburg wine research facility in 1922 by one Dr. Zweigelt, presumably on a stormy night surrounded by blue-sparking science things!

    Thankfully it escaped Vincent Price and is now starring alongside Julie Andrews, having become Austria's most popular and widely-grown red grape variety. It also makes up the larger part of this juicy, tangy, herb-driven red, as pleasing drunk on its own as it would be with most simple game dishes.
  4. Schauer Rosé Sudsteiermark 2016 Rosé Wine

    Schauer Rosé Sudsteiermark 2016

    £13.00

    £13.00

    Stand on the steep slopes of the Schauer vineyards and absorb the view. Breathtaking. A landscape with edges like cut crystal. But imagine 300 million years ago. An Earth in turmoil. Rock and oceans, molten minerals. A world growing into the shape we know it, suffering the agonies of adolescence.

    Of course, it would only look chaotic if you sped up millions of decades to play out like a film. But then, try this wine and you won't really get a sense of the chaotic alchemy that went into its making either. Three varieties roiling, mixing, berry fruit and spice aroma. Take a sip. Sense the swirl of time.
  5. Riesling Von den Terrassen BrundlMayer

    Riesling Von den Terrassen Brundlmayer 2016

    £13.50

    £13.50

    Is Bründlmayer Riesling the best food wine in the world? It has a touch of sweetness to match it with spicy. It has piquant acidity to pair it with fatty. Tangy citrus undertones to sit next to something fruity, and a pleasing minerality that will go well with herby. And all from just 42 hectares over some of the best Kremstal vineyards, made by a centuries old farming family from Grundorf. It all sounds like the beginnings of a fairy story. The seven dwarves might need a bit of work, mind you...
  6. Kopfensteiner Blaufrankisch Red Wine

    Kopfensteiner Blaufrankisch Eisenberg 2014

    £14.00

    £14.00

    Thomas Kopfensteiner is oddly impressed by soil. So impressed, in fact, that he took over a patch of land in Austria because its soil was forbiddingly dense with clay. And then he was bowled over by another spot because its meagre-looking soil was full of slate and thick with iron deposits. It's hardly Gardener's World, is it? Yet by beavering about endlessly in all this gunge, he coaxed wholly natural and earthy grapes from the first patch, and concentrated and minerally fruit from the second.

    Alchemy! And then wizardry, as he put them together and hey presto! A beautifully-structured but juicy red wine, packed with fruit and speaking eloquently of the region whence it came. You wouldn't have thought, would you...?
  7. Schauer Sauvignon Blanc Sausal 2016 Austrian White Wine

    Schauer Sauvignon Blanc Sausal 2016

    £15.00

    £15.00

    Look down from Schauer's vineyards - one of Europe's highest winemaking locations - and imagine: 300 million years ago, everything you see below lay beneath a prehistoric ocean; and where you're standing was an island. Mindblowing how things evolve.

    This wine is testament to that. Sauvignon Blanc from Austria! Planted on severe slate slopes, with uncompromising character. Minerality, Alpine herbs; and crisp and clean as mountain air. An extraordinary meeting of modern and ancient. Who said time travel is impossible? Just take a sip!
  8. Markowitsch Rubin Carnuntum 2014

    Markowitsch Rubin Carnuntum 2014

    £15.25

    £15.25

    We love Question Time. The way David Dimbleby umpires as questions and answers are volleyed between irate the audience and wriggling politicians. So we'd like to play being DD, with an imagined audience and the maker of Markowitsch Rubin, made from the obscure Zweigelt grape...

    Audience: 'This wine is Austrian, you say?'

    Gerhard Markowitsch: 'Ja, we are a small but incredibly exciting win-producing country.'

    Audience: 'That's all well and good Gerhard, but what the jeffing heck are Zweigelt grapes and what do they taste like?'

    Gerhard: 'Well, it has the acidity and fresh red fruit of Sangiovese, with a bit more, how do you say, oomph?'

    Us: '*Peers over glasses* next question please...'
  9. Pittnauer Pannobile Red Wine Austria

    Pittnauer Pannobile 2013

    £25.00

    £25.00

    Pannobile is an association of nine Austrian winemakers, devoted to producing wines that truly speak of the soil, character and climate of their region, exquisite wines made entirely from local grape varieties. The "Pannobile" wine that each winery produces every year is its finest cuvée, entirely approachable in its youth but developing a great raft of flavours with age.

    Pittnauer Pannobile is a perfectly striking wine, already offering a density of aromas and flavours, ripe plums, juniper, orange peel and licorice. How it will develop in years to come we can only imagine!

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