Austria, like many other wine regions, produces everything from sparkling wines to unctuous, long-lived dessert wines and everything in between. White wines, however, are Austria's true strength, with the clear leader being Gruner Veltliner which constitutes about a third of the country's vineyards. Though Gruner Veltliner is grown in numerous places around the world, the Austrian versions are superior. Dry Gruner is crisp and clean with flavors of pineapple and citrus, minerals, white pepper and often Arugula. In addition to Gruner, Austria also produces some fine dry Rieslings that tend to have a marked mineral character. While Austria is white wine focused, it certainly has some good red wines. Austria has Cabernet, Merlot, Blauburgunder, Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent. Austria, like Germany, also has a tradition of dessert wine excellence. Austria is often able to ripen grapes to Trockenbeerenauslese levels and is able to produce some outstanding late harvest wines and at time, Eisweins.
"95 WE, 94 WA, 93WS The Chardonnay-Welschriesling blend 2005 #7 offers impressive aromatic complexity, suggesting brown-spiced apple and quince jellies, glazed pineapple, dried apricots, honey, musk, and truffle. Tactile spice and surprising fresh fruit character derive contrast in the mouth from creamy, oily textural richness and suggestions of nut brittle and chocolate. This finishes with uncanny freshness and lift for a wine so rich and nobly rotten. Look for a good two decades of interesting evolution here."
"Very refined, with elegant flavors of apple, peach, citrus and spice. Excellent balance, with understated power. The crisp finish features minerally notes."
"Ripe, tropical fruit characters over soft honeyed notes and subtle oak spice and butterscotch. Vibrant acidity with elegant citrus notes on the finish. Very harmonious."
"96 WS Seductively creamy and spicy, showing plenty of freshness and purity to its ripe grapefruit, toffee, honey and beeswax flavors. This complex wine offers notes of tarragon on the rich finish, which is filled with accents white chocolate. Drink now through 2050."
"Offers lentil-like earthiness and hazelnut piquancy that add depth to a sappy matrix of fresh apple and sugar-snap pea. Polished in feel and modest in body, it finishes with an attractive combination of subtle creaminess with juicy refreshment."
"91 Points- Wine Enthusiast. Ripe, zesty lemon peel and white pepper come in an unusual but very convincing union that bewitches nose and palate. There is real concentration at the core and tons of spice and freshness on a very focused, driven palate. This is utterly refreshing and packs a real punch."
"Bold blackberry fruit is framed by notes of graham crackers or vanilla wafers. A bit crisp and lacking flesh, but showcases vibrant fruit, ending on a dry, dusty, tannic note."
"Light red in color, this wine has an attractive raspberry flavor, tannins, a touch of pepper and spice, and a final vivid acidity."