2016 Riesling, Steinmassel Trocken, Willi Bründlmayer, Kamptal, Austria
Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate (summer 2017)
About this WINE
Willi Bründlmayer is widely recognised as one of Austria's most gifted winemakers. He is best known for his Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners, although he also makes very high quality Chardonnays.
He has 57 hectares of vineyards, superbly sited high up on slopes around the wine town of Langenlois. His best site is the Heiligenstein vineyard where the rocky granite/slate soils produce Rieslings of astonishing mineral intensity, which age beautifully.
Riesling's twin peaks are its intense perfume and its piercing crisp acidity which it manages to retain even at high ripeness levels.
In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings, yet it is responsible for all its greatest wines. It is planted widely on well-drained, south-facing slate-rich slopes, with the greatest wines coming from the best slopes in the best villages. It produces delicate, racy, nervy and stylish wines that cover a wide spectrum of flavours from steely and bone dry with beautifully scented fruits of apples,apricots, and sometimes peaches, through to the exotically sweet flavours of the great sweet wines.
It is also an important variety in Alsace where it produces slightly earthier, weightier and fuller wines than in Germany. The dry Rieslings can be austere and steely with hints of honey while the Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles are some of the greatest sweet wines in the world.
It is thanks to the New World that Riesling is enjoying a marked renaissance. In Australia the grape has developed a formidable reputation, delivering lime-sherbet fireworks amid the continental climate of Clare Valley an hour's drive north of Adelaide, while Barossa's Eden Valley is cooler still, producing restrained stony lime examples from the elevated granitic landscape; Tasmania is fast becoming their third Riesling mine, combining cool temperatures with high UV levels to deliver stunning prototypes.
New Zealand shares a similar climate, with Riesling and Pinot Gris neck to neck in their bid to be the next big thing after Sauvignon Blanc; perfectly suited is the South Island's Central Otago, with its granitic soils and continental climate, and the pebbly Brightwater area near Nelson. While Australia's Rieslings tend to be full-bodied & dry, the Kiwis are more inclined to be lighter bodied, more ethereal and sometimes off-dry; Alsace plays Mosel if you like.
Add to wishlist
Bründlmayer consistently produces wines with accessible refinement as well as the ability to age. This single-vineyard Riesling is no exception and offers crystalline minerality, white peach fruit and lime-zest acidity. It is drinking beautifully now, but will happily reside in a cellar for a further five to 10 years.
Katherine Dart MW, Wine Buyer (winter 2018)
wine at a glance
Delivery and quality guarantee