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Tasting notes from Austria

text and photographs © 2013 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on the Wines of Austria.

Weingut Prieler, Burgenland

UK importer for Weingut Prieler is ClarkFoyster Wines.

White Wines

Weingut Prieler, Welschriesling 2012, Austria
Entry level wine, not exported. Has lovely fresh and crisp aromatics. Nice gentle nutty leesiness, has good richness and fresh but fruity palate. Lots of apple citrus. Long. 86-87/100.

Weingut Prieler, Pinot Blanc Seeberg 2012, Austria
Orange peel and lemon rind, that citrus skin and melon skin richness. Again a nuttiness to this and developing toasty notes. Lovely ripe fruit from vineyards facing the lake, all planted on limestone. Lovely fruity richness, texture and grip. Beautifully focused lime skin tang to the finish. Delicious and long. 89-90/100. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

Weingut Prieler, Pinot Blanc Leithaberg DAC 2012, Austria
Leithaberg DAC wines cannot be single vineyards, but must be representative of the region, approved by tasting committee. This has more than three days on skins and is fermented in barrel and left on lees for four months. Even richer and grippier, the nose has a touch of the orange blossom lightness to offset the concentration. The palate has huge juicy, grapefruity presence. There is a natural sweet ripeness here giving huge intensity. 91/100. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

Red Wines

Weingut Prieler, Blaufränkisch Johanneshohe 2011, Austria
A bigger site that encompasses five vineyards. Mostly loamy soils with iron. Rich, ripe black fruits, there is some spiciness, some tobacco and warmth, but the blue/black fruit is all there. The palate has delicious sweet fruited ripeness, with blackcurrant and intense black damson plum, the chocoalty depth of the tannins and good spicy character adding to the modest but nicely balancing acidity of the finish. 89-90/100. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

Weingut Prieler, Blaufränkisch Leithaberg DAC 2010, Austria
A really cool vintage. Slightly more fruit came from slate soils in this vintage whereas a little more would normally come from limestone for freshness. Ripe, lightly gamy nose, plenty of nutty black fruits, plenty of earthiness and gentle herbs and game. The palate has a lovely rounded, dry but very well defined palate with such a juicy squirt of tart black fruit skins to the acidity and firm tannins. 90-91/100. Fortnum & Mason, see all stockists on wine-searcher.

Weingut Prieler, Blaufränkisch Leithaberg DAC 2011, Austria
A really hot vintage. The limestone cools overnight and makes slightly more reductive wines. Much more rounded and opulent on the nose, the thicker, plumier dark fruits. On the palate it has such fat, sweet fruit and huge concentration. There is a warmth and solidity to this that Georg thinks in four or five years this will come good, the primary sweet fruit will subside a little then. And I can see the game and the herby quality in there that is just a little overshadowed by the thick plumpness of the fruit at present. 91-92/100. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

Weingut Prieler, Blaufränkisch Marienthal 2011, Austria
First bottling was 2011. From limestone soils, but harvested a little later. Made in 500-litre casks of Austrian oak. Big, chocolaty nose, with thick, rich fruit. Some spice and pepper and a little gamy note. But this is about earthy and chocolaty richness and conentration. Savoury, with the briny seashore note and wonderful juiciness. Has plenty of acidity and really intense feeling to the tannins that grip the wine now in that savoury umami character, the intense full and spicy fruit is in there, but this has massive structure and concentration. 93/100. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

Weingut Prieler, Blaufränkisch Goldberg 2011, Austria
From slate soils. Difference here is whole berries. Much lighter, ashier, earthy and floral notes, lots of cracked black pepper and crisp black and red berries - suggests more lift and energy. The palate has such an intense sweet fruit purity, the intensity and concentration is immense, and the palate has lovely finesse and lively, fine intense concentration. The tannins are very svelte, the acidity juicy in a wine that is arguably a little more straightforward, but makes up for that in its perfect purity. 93/100. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

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