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 2015 Klosterkeller Siegendorf Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
Violet color. Spicy aromas and flavors of mixed peppercorns, smoked meats, celery seed, crushed coriander and mustard seed, and cherry strudel with a satiny, vibrant, dryish medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long graphite, lemon-pepper, and bramble finish. A supremely spicy Austrian Cabernet with an exceptional sense of balance.
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 2017 Selection Gruner Veltliner
89 points
Clear silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of peach white tea, lemonade, white asparagus, sweet almond, and orange blossom with a satiny, lively, petillant, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, captivating, medium-length finish with no oak. A zingy, springy Gruner that is a total delight to drink.
Bailoni NV Gold Marillen-Frizzante Sparkling Wine Austria
89 points
Orange amber color. Fresh, fruity aromas of apricot nectar, ripe melon, and underripe pineapple with a glycerous, bright, spritzy, moderately sweet medium body and a seamless, medium-length apricot taffy, spiced lemon tea, black pepper, and apricot preserves finish with no oak. A fresh and tasty mimosa-like flavored wine with pure orchard fruit notes.
89 points $19.99
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 2017  Gruner Veltliner
88 points
Clear emerald straw color. Aromas of wool, freesia, white tea, almond tea cakes, and orange coulis with an vibrant, petillant, light body and a sleek, refreshing, medium-long poached peach, cantaloupe, and gravel finish with no oak. A restrained Gruner with elegant stony, minerality.
Lenz Moser 2017 Prestige Gruner Veltliner
88 points
Pale emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of quartz, straw, dried peach, Persian lime, and tarragon with a satiny, lively, petillant, dryish light body and a seamless, medium-length fresh chiles and yellow pepper finish with no oak. Big acid makes for a mouthwatering summer white in this lengthy Gruner.
Malteser Ritterorden 2017  Gruner Veltliner
88 points
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of ripe lemon and talc with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a seamless, relaxed underripe pineapple and gravel finish with no oak. A crisp and clean white that offers a nice mineral-forward alternative for Pinot Grigio drinkers.