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Winner Details

Austria

There’s really only one thing holding Austria back in this competition: the number of entries. Our tasters adore these wines, and can completely see how all the styles could work for them on a wine list. With dryness, richness, structure and minerality, they tick a lot of somm boxes.

If you’re only going to list one wine from Austria, it’s probably going to be a Grüner, and this category was a real good news story. 2018, it seems, was a superlative year for the grape – our tasters absolutely loved these wines – and it delivered in every style, from fresh to rich. So feel free to rummage around the medals listed here for bargains.

Rieslings, frankly, we could do with more of, so to get one on our Gold List from a fairly small pool of submissions was a good effort, and what we would like to see more of are the reds – particularly lighter, fresher styles at sub-£16.

From The Tasting Teams

‘The quality of the Grüners was really good, with no bad wines. All were recognisable in terms of grape variety and where they come from. The wines at the lower end were a bit fresher, and the higher price range was ripe and rich, with luscious, large-format oak and some residual sugar. It’s a style thing, and there’s a place for both. Quality–wise these were really good.’ Charlie Young, team leader

‘I find Austria hard to sell. It’s difficult when it’s competing against other areas that are more prominent.’ Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks

‘I really loved the reds. There were good varietals and blends, with bright colours and fresh, crunchy fruit. They can be quite practical in a restaurant, maybe with buttery risotto or fish with tomato sauce.’ Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery

‘I really liked the Grüners. They were very interesting and a good expression of Grüner across the board. I liked the richer wines with less acidity, though the cheaper styles work well for wine bars.’ Stephanie Robertson, RA Group

‘I didn’t find particularly great value in the reds – we were finding more of the riper, oakier style rather than the freshness and liveliness that you’d expect. Austria is cool again, but this representation felt slightly dated.’ Jan Konetzki, team leader

‘Grüner styles with more residual sugar work well with Asian cuisine and richer foods. As a wine it complements spiciness well.’ Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C

‘I’d love to see how some of these more unctuous Grüners age. I was still chewing them after five minutes.’ Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone

‘I thought the reds were really good. There was some spiciness, and that Dr Bayard cough-sweet aniseed note, which I quite liked.’ Rui Pereira, Cavalry and Guards Club

Award winners

Found 18 wines

Austria

Soellner, Fumberg Grüner Veltliner 2018, Wagram, Austria

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

'Voluptuous and charmingly generous, with fine, zingy acidity.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'Citrus fruit, pear and gooseberry aromas, with some big concentration and a hit of spice on the palate, followed by savoury minerality and clean melon and pear fruit, with an expansive finish. Really complex and a great food matcher - it'd be nice with cheese like young Reblochon.' Charlie Young, team leader.

£15.97 Matthew Clark

Mantlerhof, Weitgasse, Grüner Veltliner 2018, Kremstal, Austria

Gold medal winner

'Rich and concentrated, with lovely ripeness of fruit on the fresh, unctuous palate, and a long, appealing finish.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'Green fruit, white pepper and citrus aromas leading to a ripe and fruit-rich palate, with decent acidity, making this pretty easy-drinking.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Textbook floral and perfumed notes, with a lovely, mouth-watering finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£11.42 Bibendum

Weingut Nittnaus, Altenberg, Blaufränkisch 2017, Burgenland, Austria

Gold medal winner

'There's great complexity here, with some big aromas of red fruits like raspberry and wild strawberry, and a hint of tobacco leaf. There are also some developed notes, with a hint of forest floor and mushroom. A good option for a restaurant list.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant. 'A very interesting wine, with sour cherries, blackberries, and a touch of Dr Bayard anise notes too.' Rui Pereira, Cavalry and Guards Club.

£22.05 Bibendum

Johann Donabaum, Spitzer Federspiel, Riesling 2018, Wachau, Austria

Gold medal winner

'Really good, with green apple aromas on a very charming nose. This has very good structure and texture, and a lovely spicy finish, making it an amazing partner for food.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche. 'Earl grey tea, oregano, aniseed, and lemon peel on the nose, with a crisp, nutty palate and a dry finish. I see this working as a premium offering in a gastropub.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£18.10 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Sepp Moser, Zweigelt Reserve, Organic/Biodynamic 2017, Burgenland, Austria

Silver medal winner

'Crunchy, fresh red fruit with some black pepper notes too, a hint of graphite and a smoky, meaty element. A well-balanced wine with a long, refreshing finish.' Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery. 'Sappy and juicy, with floral notes and some bramble fruit, and subtle velvet tannins.' James Fryer, team leader.

£16.77 Boutinot

Anton Bauer, Blaufränkisch, Reserve 2015, Wagram, Austria

Silver medal winner

'Warming coffee and mocha notes, with great length, layers of fruit and integrated tannins.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'Oak flavours at first - with anise and cinnamon, red fruit and dried herbs - and some good aromatics, with soft tannins and a spicy finish.' Rui Pereira, Cavalry and Guards Club.

£26.23 Top Selection

Anton Bauer, Zweigelt 2017, Wagram, Austria

Silver medal winner

'A big, nicely structured wine, with a mix of red and black cherries, and some smokiness, with soft tannins and a sweet, peppery finish.' Rui Pereira, Cavalry and Guards Club. 'A complex aroma of fresh fruits and oak ageing. A very versatile wine that would work really well in restaurants.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant.

£21.83 Top Selection

Rabl, Käferberg Reserve, Grüner Veltliner 2018, Kamptal, Austria

Silver medal winner

'Some pronounced white pepper, with good complexity of stone fruits too, and a good level of acidity.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C. 'A creamy and enticing, ripe nose, with a generous palate that has depth and a fine, long, complex finish.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'Creamy, rich, spicy and peppery.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine.

£18.96 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Soellner, Wogenrain Grüner Veltliner 2018, Wagram, Austria

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh, grapefruit aromas leading to a dry, nicely textured palate, with good minerality and soft but flowing acidity. A good food-match wine, and nicely approachable.' Charlie Young, team leader. Lovely, with cherry blossom and white pepper. Brilliant on a hot summer's day with some seafood.' Stephanie Robertson, RA Group.

£12.54 Matthew Clark

Soellner, Soellner, Roter Veltliner von Gösing 2018, Wagram, Austria

Bronze medal winner

'A sweet anise and tarragon nose, continuing to the palate with added depth, ripeness and complexity. Very mineral and refreshing, with great balance.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'With tropical fruits and lemon zest, this is fresh and balanced, with good weight and some delicate spices coming through on the finish.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.

£14.47 Matthew Clark

Kracher & Wieder, Reunion Klassik 2017, Burgenland, Austria

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh strawberry with some elegant tannins and a bit of spice, and a good finish.' Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery. 'A spicy wine with intense black fruit and chalky tannins.' Rui Pereira, Cavalry and Guards Club. 'This has a light texture, with delicate red fruit and a hint of pepper, and silky tannins on the well-integrated palate.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant.

£12.59 Top Selection

Laurenz V, Friendly, Grüner Veltliner 2018, Kamptal, Austria

Commended medal winner

£12.57 Bibendum

Kracher, Blend 2 2016, Burgenland, Austria

Commended medal winner

£15.32 Top Selection

Laurenz V, Charming, Grüner Veltliner 2017, Kamptal, Austria

Commended medal winner

£17.83 Bibendum

Sepp Moser, Grüner Veltliner Gebling, Organic/Biodynamic 2018, Kremstal, Austria

Commended medal winner

£15.10 Boutinot

Anton Bauer, Pinot Noir, Reserve 2017, Wagram, Austria

Commended medal winner

£25.42 Top Selection

Anton Bauer, Rosenberg Alte Reben, Grüner Veltliner 2017, Wagram, Austria

Commended medal winner

£21.83 Top Selection

Höpler, Blaufränkisch 2017, Burgenland, Austria

Commended medal winner

 

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