About Austrian Wine

About Austrian Wine
Although Austria is not among the top fifteen wine producing nations in the world (it ranks 18th), it has received a great deal of attention as of late. Much of this has to do with its signature white wine, Grüner Veltliner, a medium-bodied, aromatic, sleek white with very good natural acidity. As consumers are looking for wines to accompany fusion and other healthy cuisines, Grüner has been a natural fit.

Austria is primarily a white wine nation (two-thirds of vineyards are planted to white varieties); other successful whites include Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc (known as Weissburgunder). Some of the greatest Austrian wines are the remarkable dessert wines made from Riesling, Muskat and other varieties. The most exclusive of these are trockenbeerenauslese, which are incredibly rich with exotic honey, raisin and caramel flavors, moderate sweetness and the structure to age for decades. The best of these are highly limited (they are only produced in exceptional years) and expensive, costing as much as $75-$100 per half bottle.

Red wines include Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch and Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir). Reds in Austria have higher acidity as well as more herbal notes than many other reds from around the globe; this may account for their limited sales, despite the excellent quality and their structure for aging.

Top Picks for Austria

Weinwurm’s 2015 Ausbruch Weissburgunder
93 points
Golden straw color. Candied, perfumed aromas of golden honey, dried apricot, honeysuckle, and beeswax with a syrupy, lively, very sweet full body and a polished, interesting, medium-length peach blossom, fresh apple, fluffy almond nougat, and brown spices finish with fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A sweet and honeyed wine that would be delightful with Italian cookies.
93 points $20.60
Lenz Moser 2014 Klosterkeller Siegendorf Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
Dusty ruby black color. Spicy, meaty aromas and flavors of grilled sausages and green peppers, berry pie crust, and nougat with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long caramelized carrots and figs, chocolate toffee, and cedar finish with crunchy, chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A savory, spicy, mouthwatering cabernet that will pair brilliantly.
Awards: 2017 Best Austrian Red Wine
92 points $24.99
Lenz Moser 2015 Souveräner Malteser Ritterorden Blauer Zweigelt
91 points
Garnet black color. Fruity, floral, attractive aromas and flavors of spiced blueberries and loganberries, chocolate toffee, and orange blossoms with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an effortless, delightful, medium-long mocha gelato, spiced nuts, and cedar finish with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A delightfully fruity, floral, and spicy red that is sure to please.
91 points $20.99
Weinwurm’s 2012 Reserve Zweigelt
90 points
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Earthy, peppery aromas of underripe cherries, forest floor, jalapeño pepper, and whole black peppercorns with a velvety, lively, dryish light-to-medium body and a seamless, compelling, medium-length raspberry leaf, meringue, raw macadamia nut, and bay leaf and wet stones finish with fine, coating tannins and no oak. A purely gulpable Zweigelt.
90 points $13.70 Best Buy
Lenz Moser 2016 Souveräner Malteser Ritterorden Grüner Veltliner
90 points
Best Buy
Light color. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, catbox, and taffy with an crisp, petillant, fruity medium body and a captivating, medium-long paloma and horchata finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A happy medium for those torn between sauvignon blanc and grüner.
Awards: 2017 Best Austrian White Wine, 2017 Best Grüner Veltliner
90 points $16.99 Best Buy
HuM Hofer 2016 Origin Pinot Blanc
89 points
Dark apricot color. Aromas and flavors of apricot, orange marmalade, and buttermilk with a flat, dry light-to-medium body and a cheery finish. A lovely orange wine that offers just a hint of tannins and a soft, delicate approach.
Lenz Moser 2016 Prestige Grüner Veltliner
89 points
Best Buy
Pale yellow straw color. Tropical aromas and flavors of pineapple, passion fruit, and honeydew melon with a satiny, vibrant, dryish light body and a medium-length quartz and lime finish with fine, silky, fruit tannins. A zippy and fruity Grüner for hot summer nights and grilled fish dinners.
89 points $15.49 Best Buy
Lenz Moser 2016 Selection Rosé Niederösterreich
89 points
Best Buy
Medium pale coral orange color. Earthy, fruity, minerally aromas and flavors of underripe apricot and sea breeze with a round, tangy, bone-dry light-to-medium body and a cheery spicy berry jam, banana chip, white strawberry, and quartz finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A tart rose with generous salinity.
89 points $13.99 Best Buy
Lenz Moser 2013 Prestige Reserve Blauer Zweigelt
89 points
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of grilled peppers, baked mulberries, barnyard, and toasted dill and herbs with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long toasty cedar and earth finish with crunchy, dusty, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A savory and spicy red that will shine at the table.
89 points $19.99
Biokult 2016  Gruner Veltliner
88 points
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Clean aromas of key lime, underripe apricot, talc, and gardenia with a velvety, vibrant, dry medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-length cherry blossom, blanched almond, crisp Napa cabbage, and snap pea finish with fruit tannins. A bracingly dry gruner with pleasant floral notes.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy