Over recent months, Austrian wines have continued to outshine competition from around the world. In international trade magazines and at renowned wine competitions, they have been picking up enthusiastic votes, top ratings, gold medals and coveted trophies.
VICTORY FOR SWEET WINES IN THE INTERNATIONAL WINE CHALLENGE
Every year, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in England announces the best wines and winegrowers in the world. This year was another very successful one for Austria. Of the 120 wines tasted, 66 received at least 90 points and 12 were awarded 95 points or more. Two different Prädikatswein from the 2010 vintage, produced by the Hans Tschida Angerhof winery, scored particularly well – each receiving 96 points. The winery’s outstanding expertise in sweet wine earned them the title of IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year, making it the eighth time that Hans Tschida has scooped up this award.
AWARDS FROM DECANTER AND DRINKS BUSINESS
Shortly before the IWC awards, the trade magazine Decanter published the results of its World Wine Awards in which they tasted over 18,000 wines from around the world. 184 of these wines came from Austria; 15 of them were awarded 95 points or more; five wines even received 97 points. Two Austrian victories deserve special mention here. Despite the comparatively low number of Austrian submissions, two wines ranked among the 50 Best in Show – the Grüner Veltliner Ried Kammerner Lamm “1ÖTW” 2020 from the Birgit Eichinger winery and the Riesling Ried Pfaffenberg “1ÖTW”’ 2019 from the Salomon estate.
Austrian wines also performed very well at the Global Masters, organised by the trade publication Drinks Business. Of the 51 wines entered by Austria, ten received a gold medal and two were awarded the coveted “Master” title: the Riesling Ried Gaisriegl 2019 from the Schauer winery and the Sauvignon Blanc Ried Hochbrudersegg 2020 from the Schneeberger estate.
ROBERT PARKER: 95 POINTS FOR A 2021 FEDERSPIEL
In the first half of the year, Stephan Reinhardt rated a few dozen Austrian wines for the highly regarded magazine Robert Parker Wine Advocate. His reviews focussed mainly on wines from Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). Particularly noteworthy was his score of 95 points for the Riesling Federspiel Ried Bruck 2021 from the Domäne Wachau winery. This leads to high hopes for the wines in the single vineyard and Reserve categories – these wines have been maturing for longer and are due to be reviewed in the early autumn.
WINE ENTHUSIAST: THE LIGHTNESS OF NIEDERÖSTERREICH WINE
Aleks Zecevic took another detailed look at Niederösterreich on behalf of Wine Enthusiast. In an extensive article, he reported on the generation of young winegrowers who are focussing on lighter, alternative styles of wine and are working in touch with nature. According to Zecevic, these types of wine have strong appeal for the American market where consumers are increasingly turning to lower-alcohol wine that has been produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
VINUM: HIGHEST RATING FOR STEIERMARK ROSÉ
Rosé wine is the hot topic of the season and is quite literally on everyone’s lips. Accordingly, the trade magazine Vinum dedicated an entire competition to this style of wine and Austria’s wines stood out here, too. The Pinot Noir Rosé “funky” 2020 from Herrenhof Lamprecht in Vulkanland Steiermark managed to scoop up 95 points – one of only two wines to do so – giving it the competition’s top rating. It was also named the best organic rosé.
WORLD-CLASS SAUVIGNON COMES FROM STEIERMARK
Early this year at the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon, the Styrians had cause for celebration: with their Sauvignon Blanc Ried Kranachberg Reserve 2015, the Peter Skoff winery took home the “Revelation Oaked Sauvignon” trophy. Overall, Steiermark Sauvignons performed excellently once again. Of the 23 countries represented, the region was awarded the second-highest number of medals (71) and in the “oaked” category, it managed to pick up the most (42).
ZWEIGELT. THE “NEXT BIG STORY FROM AUSTRIA”
Austria’s red wines are enjoying growing international recognition. With the indigenous grape varieties Zweigelt (Rotburger), Blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurent, Austria has three aces up its sleeve. Recently, two magazines – Harpers and Drinks Business – shone the spotlight on the qualities of Zweigelt. Based on a tasting at the London restaurant Trivet, Andrew Catchpole from Harpers concluded that Zweigelt is the red counterpart to Grüner Veltliner as it reflects the same diversity as the Austrian white wine flagship grape. Present at the tasting was Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Jr who stressed that Zweigelt has an ability to express its origin and concluded by saying: “We want to make Zweigelt the next big story from Austria.”
VAIHINGER LÖWE: BLAUFRÄNKISCH FROM MITTELBURGENLAND TAKES FIRST AND SECOND PLACE
When it comes to international tastings, Austria’s Blaufränkisch wines are also a safe bet – and this was demonstrated once again at the variety-specific Vaihinger Löwe tasting. Of the 179 wines entered (Blaufränkisch, Lemberger, Kékfrankos, Frankovka), the Tesch winery from Mittelburgenland scooped both first and second place with their “Patriot” 2015 and “Patriot” 2017 respectively. Overall, Austria claimed five of the top seven places, testifying its outstanding expertise with the Blaufränkisch variety.
International Wine Challenge (IWC)
- 120 wines tasted
- 66 received at least 90 points and 12 were awarded 95 points or more
- Hans Tschida “IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year” for the eighth time
Decanter World Wine Awards
- Over 18,000 wines from around the world tasted
- 184 of these wines came from Austria; 15 of them were awarded 95 points or more; five wines even received 97 points
- Two wines ranked among the 50 Best in Show:
- Birgit Eichinger winery, Grünen Veltliner Ried Kammerner Lamm “1ÖTW” 2020
- Salomon winery, Riesling Ried Pfaffenberg “1ÖTW” 2019
Drinks Business Global Masters
- 51 wines entered by Austria
- Ten received a gold medal
- Two were awarded the coveted “Master” title:
- Riesling Ried Gaisriegl 2019 from the Schauer winery
- Sauvignon Blanc Ried Hochbrudersegg 2020 from the Schneeberger estate
Robert Parker Wine Advocate
- A few dozen Austrian wines tasted in the first half of the year, focussed mainly on wines from Niederösterreich
- Particularly noteworthy: 95 points for the Riesling Federspiel Ried Bruck 2021 from the Domäne Wachau winery
- In an extensive article, Aleks Zecevic reported on the generation of young winegrowers who are focussing on lighter, alternative styles of wine and their potential on the US market
Vinum World of Rosé 2022
- Pinot Noir Rosé „funky“ 2020 from Herrenhof Lamprecht in Vulkanland Steiermark:
- 95 points (one of only two wines to do so) – giving it the competition’s top rating
- Best organic rosé
Concours Mondial du Sauvignon
- Sauvignon Blanc Ried Kranachberg Reserve 2015 from the Peter Skoff winery: “Revelation Oaked Sauvignon”
- Of the 23 countries represented, Austria was awarded the second-highest number of medals (71).
- In the “oaked” category, Austria managed to pick up the most medals (42).
Articles in Harpers and Drinks Business
- Focus on Zweigelt and its great potential
- 179 wines entered (Blaufränkisch, Lemberger, Kékfrankos, Frankovka)
- Victory for the Tesch winery from Mittelburgenland:
- First place: “Patriot” 2015
- Second place: “Patriot” 2017
- Overall, Austria claimed five of the top seven places.