Browse Tag


Netzl logic

Netzl 2009 “Rubin Carnuntum” Zweigelt (Carnuntum) – I’m consistently surprised at how some Austrian zweigelts are pushed into acrobatics I’m not sure zweigelt was ever mean to perform. It’s a worldwide disease, though – taking the indigenous and trying to fluff it up for the bright lights of the big city – and while it’s dismaying, one can’t really fault the commercial aspirations behind the impulse. There’s a middle ground, though, in which the grape is laden with aspirations but is not subject to a foreign finishing school somewhere near Nevers, and this is an example of same. The drippy black aromatics retain a certain floral aspect, there’s acid to counter the intense (but far from rich) fruit, and the structure is otherwise neither abrasive nor intrusive, though it’s quite clearly there. It’s a wine that goes down fairly easily, for all its muscularity, but when it has finished its descent one realizes that not much of note happened along the way. (5/12)

My bell

Meinklang 2009 “Burgenlandred” (Burgenland) – 60% zweigelt, 30% blaufränkisch, 10% st. laurent. For better or worse, these neighborhood grapes are much more compatible than the thuggish cabernet and merlot interlopers they’re so often asked to mingle with in red Austrian blends. To my mind it’s better, because the mix of slightly chilly aromatics – dried-floral, dried-herbal, dried-earthen – and richer, bluish-purple fruit of medium-mild intensity, is much more distinctive without the interference of the Bordelais buddies. Slips down easily, and with pleasure all the while. (3/12)

Jiggle the Schandl

Schandl 2008 Rust Furmint (Burgenland) – There’s an aroma to furmint that I struggle to identify: herbal, almost tea-like, but far from any vegetal expression thereof. Rather, it’s metallic, and yet the wine’s minerality is a separate issue. Anyway, this has the foil-wrapped brittle herbality I’m talking about, floating in a fulsome bisque of soft liquid sandstone – no, I don’t know how that would happen either – and with some but not quite enough structural acidity. It’s a good wine, but the volume is just a little bit high for the space in which its music is being played. (3/12)

Terrassen match

Tegernseerhof 2008 Terrassen Riesling (Wachau) – Is this difficult because it’s tight or because it’s not very good? It is certainly reduced, which doesn’t help, but grapefruit rind – unleavened and unadorned by aught else – is not sufficient for both foundation and glass house. (1/12)


Anton Bauer 2007 “Cuvée No 13” (Wagram) – 40% blaufränkisch, 35% zweigelt, 15% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot. This isn’t bad, exactly, but there’s way too much striving (the blend, yes, but also the oak) that is not supported by the raw materials. This is pleasant but thoroughly anonymous. And it’s fine that Austria wants to me-too their native grapes like this, but I don’t have to be interested in the result. (1/12)


Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg “Gobelsburger” 2010 Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal) – Eminently pleasant whites and greens, light but with insistence and a measured length. The faintest dusting of whit pepper, perhaps, but mostly this relies on riper forms of straightforward grüneresque fruit, though not the lush lavishness of which the grape is capable when pushed. There’s sufficient acidity for short-term holding, but actual aging is something I probably wouldn’t try except in a purely speculative way. (12/11)


Staldmann 2010 Gelber Muskateller Kapellenweg (Thermenregion) – Open four days, and showing itt: lightish floral elements with a barely-oxidizing structure starting to fall apart around it. I don’t think the wine was ever much more physically powerful than this, but I suspect the aromatics have suffered since opening. There’s minerality – stony, rocky – but it, too, is beginning to decline. A fresh bottle would have more to say. (11/11)

Hasel & Grentel

Eichinger 2006 Hasel Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal) – Just beyond the basic, pepper-and-froth profile of the grüner I keep reading was poured from casks in Austrian bars (I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been in one) into something just a little juicier and creamier, but still edgy. Overall light-bodied, with a refreshing lift to it. Simple, clean fun. (8/11)

Complementary altitude

Nigl 2002 Grüner Veltliner Kremser Freiheit (Kremstal) – Heavily oxidized, undoubtedly due to its closure. There’s some creamy goodness still clinging to the last dregs of life, but mostly this was just trashed by plastic. My fault for holding it without checking under the hood…or the capsule, that is. (8/11)