Jancis Robinson (UK)

Insyde/ Februar 19, 2019/ International

Jancis Robinson: “…this has a burnished magnificence that is impossible to ignore. It demands that you pay it attention – devoted attention. It sweeps in, as if wearing a jewelled cape…”


Grüner Veltliner Black Edition 2018: 17,5

Certified Ecocert organic and Demeter biodynamic. 20-ha estate in Weinviertel. RS 4.5 g/l, TA 5.2 g/l. Evocative smell of chalk dust and quarry dust mixed with verbena, dried mint and lavender. Much richer (and sweeter tasting) than their other Grüners, this has a burnished magnificence that is impossible to ignore. It demands that you pay it attention – devoted attention. It sweeps in, as if wearing a jewelled cape. It is voluptuous. It shimmers. It is cedar and honey, quince and hazelnuts, melon and mint. A densely packed layer of pepper and hazelnuts, dukkah-like. It’s complex with tremendous texture – antique linen layered with feathers and parchment and brushed silk. It’s hard to believe this is only 13%. It has the stature of a 14.5% wine. (TC)
13% Drink 2022 – 2030

Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2020: 16,5

Certified Ecocert organic and Demeter biodynamic. 20-ha estate in Weinviertel. RS 2.3 g/l, TA 5.4 g/l. A very unusual nose for a Grüner. There’s a trace of cane molasses and iodine, along with roasted fennel. Liquorice laces and lime twisted; fennel and iron-wrought green apple. A wine with soft pockets filled with sherbety acidity and hard corners driven like steel rods. Long and challenging but not without allure – a gimlet of a wine. (TC)
12.5% Drink 2022 – 2026

Grüner Veltliner Hermanschachern 2020: 17

Certified Ecocert organic and Demeter biodynamic. 20-ha estate in Weinviertel. Another of the Ebner-Ebenauer wines that seems reluctant to tell you anything from the nose, although there are some light chocolate-mint-leaf notes. But full and full-bodied and not holding anything back on the palate. This is powerful and salty, deeply tangy, and wound in ribbons of bright yet deep acidity. Almost flashy, it’s such a statement, and yet the fruit is tightly restrained. Greengage and kiwi and grapefruit. Just so, so salty. Tastes as if the fruit has been rolled in salt flakes and ground black pepper. Feels as if the alcohol is higher than 13%. Feels as if I can feel the life of this wine inside my chest. (TC) 13% Drink 2022 – 2029

Grüner Veltliner Poysdorf 2020: 16

Certified Ecocert organic and Demeter biodynamic. 20-ha estate in Weinviertel. Closed on the nose. Green citrus freshness, very lively and pointed. Bracing. Simple but not one-dimensional; mouth-watering and with surprising length. (TC) 12% Drink 2021 – 2023


Riesling 2019: 16
Vines at least 30 years old in the Ried Steinberg. Unoaked. In a tall flute bottle. Bright nose with such ripe fruit that it almost smells as sweet as candy. But on the palate there is quite enough lime-juice acidity to counterbalance this even if the wine doesn’t taste bone dry. Very good extract and just a little chalkiness of texture on the very end. 12.5% Drink 2020–2024

Riesling Alte Reben 2019: 16.5 +
70-year-old vines in the Ried Steinberg with 15% noble rot, picked twice. The non-botrytis-affected berries were given some skin contact. Unoaked and bottled relatively late. Pale greenish straw. Very intense nose with notes of herbs, almost Grüner-like. Off dry, serious and really concentrated. It’s certainly already fun to drink but clearly this is a wine that will age. 13% Drink 2021 – 2029

Grüner Veltliner Hermannschachern 2019: 15.5
Vines at least 35 years old grown on limestone. Unoaked. Flute bottle. Light nose. Nicely balanced and with fine textural acidity but not dramatic. The finish is a little muted.  12.5% Drink 2020– 2023

Grüner Veltliner Bürsting 2019: 16
All the wines from here on are in 1,200 g (when full) burgundy bottles. Vines 50+ years old on clay. Half the wine went into a 500-litre cask. The rest in tank. There’s a bit more pep in the nose of this Grüner than in the Hermanschachern. Quite rich and broad with good acidity. Some citrus flavours on the palate and grip (though not that much persistence) on the finish. A wine to pair with food. 13% Drink 2021 – 2027

Grüner Veltliner Sauberg 2019: 16,5
Vines 50+ years old on a soil made up of clay, gravel and loess. As with the Bürsting bottling, half of this wine went into a 500-litre cask and the rest into tank. Very pale, limpid, palest green. Interesting, rather ethereal nose that, strangely enough, has notes of salami and talcum powder! Ripe palate entry and then a fine, sleek texture. Very polished. Quite long with a hint of lychees on the end. 13% Drink 2021 – 2028

Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2019: 16++
Vines 60+ years old on stony ancient Danubian sediment in the Steinberg vineyard (Ried). Steinberg, appropriately, means ’stone mountain‘.
Rather light nose for now. Smells faintly like icing sugar. Good register of acidity but still very youthful and the ripe fruit and acidity are not yet married. There’s just a light bitterness on the finish. Muted at the moment. 13% Drink 2022 – 2029

Weißburgunder Alte Reben 2019: 16
Vines at last 45 years old from Ried Alte Geringen on calcareous loess. Aged in a 500-litre barrel. Pale straw. Pure popcorn on the nose. Excellent acidity and freshness on the palate. If anything this seems zippier than the Grüners. Although it doesn’t last all that long… Neat and crisp. 13% Drink 2021 – 2024

Grüner Veltiner Black Edition 2019: 16,5
All these Black Edition wines come in a cork-stoppered black 1,500 g (when full) bottle with a black label, black lettering and in a black drawstring bag. Marion Ebner-Ebenauer says: ‚Here, all of our experience in the last 15 years comes into play, and involve different modes of vinification, according to the character of the vintage. Quite often various techniques are employed concurrently. From whole-cluster pressing to 48-hour aromatic extraction to fermentation on the skins without SO2 – everything is possible. Gentle work is all done by hand; the wines are moved only by means of gravity and remain mostly unfiltered. Spontaneously fermented in 500-litre oak casks without temperature control, the wine spends a very long time on the lees, stirred occasionally.‘ Bottled in late 2020. Mid coppery-gold colour. Broad, rich nose. A big beast! To get the most from this high-extract wine I think it would be wise to age it a bit longer. It’s very muscular with a certain pungency on the end. It’s not that expressive for the moment. I tasted from an unlabelled bottle so am not quite sure of the alcohol level. Drink 2023 –2030

Chardonnay Black Edition 2019: 16+
Marion Ebner-Ebenauer writes: ‚Residual sugar 1.6 g/l, total acidity 5.2 g/l. 1,500 bottles bottled in November 2019. Drinking window: 2020–2035. We have set ourselves the goal of making wines as an expression of our ideas; we exchange opinions on a wine before we press the grapes. First a vision, then pure artisanal handiwork: together this makes the Black Edition our prestige line. It allows us the necessary freedom for experimentation, and challenges us every day to take our favourite varieties to the limits.‘ Still quite marked by spicy oak on the nose but much better balanced on the palate with pretty, ripe fruit (not pretty ripe fruit) with a little sweetness and (just) sufficient acidity. Difficult for any Chardonnay to make a real impact in a world full of fine Chardonnays. 13.1% Drink 2022 – 2025

Rosa Kalk 2019: 16
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot. Screwcapped burgundy bottle.
Transparent orangey-pink. Looks like the product of a saignée. I can’t really smell anything bordelais. Slightly syrupy nose and then fun and easy on the palate with sufficient acidity and an appetising finish and light smokiness. I’d very happily sip this on hot summer’s day, with or without food. 13% Drink 2020– 2021

St. Laurent Alte Reben 2017: 15,5
Marion Ebner-Ebenauer writes: ‚Vineyard planted in 1958 by Manfred’s great grandfather. I think it will be one of the oldest red wine vineyards in Austria. 2017 was very healthy You know everyone says that Pinot Noir is the biggest diva in the vineyard. I think if people say that, they have never worked with St Laurent. The rot starts inside: you can’t see them like Pinot. We only harvest it with our fixed team and family because you have to cut every single grape in a half and reject every single berry which is not healthy. And it is so sensitive. And we have very low yields because of the age of our vineyards.‘ Transparent raspberry red. Light and dry. Certainly not too sweet the way that some St Laurents have been. But it could not be accused of being too intense. It’s fresh and vital but not a standout. 12.5% Drink 2019 – 2022

Pinot Noir Black Edition 2016:
Full black bottle 1,500 g, black label, black writing, in a black drawstring bag. From their vineyard in Poysdorf on sand with limestone, harvested in October 2016. After destemming and crushing, the juice and the berries (with about 5% stems remaining) are left together for a minimum of 30 days and punched down by hand. Malolactic fermentation and the subsequent maturing took place in 70% new and 30% used French oak. RS 1 g/l, TA 4.2 g/l. Bottled in September 2019. 2,700 bottles. Marion Ebner-Ebenauer forecasts a drinking window of 2019–2034. Pale ruby with a slightly timid nose. Light, sweet and rounded. Gentle and fresh at the same time. A pretty, light-bodied wine with a distinctly Austrian accent. Just a little rusty nail on the finish. I do think white wines are the strength of this producer and I can’t really see it being glorious in 2034, I’m afraid. 13.4% Drink 2019– 2024


16,5 of 20 Grüner Veltliner DAC BIO 2019
16 of 20 Grüner Veltliner BIO 2019

17.5 of 20 Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben Reserve 2017
17 of 20 Grüner Veltliner Bürsting Reserve 2017
17 of 20 Grüner Veltliner Sauberg Reserve 2017
16.5 of 20 Grüner Veltliner Hermanschachern 2017
16.5 of 20 Riesling Alte Reben 2017
16.5 of 20 Blanc de Blancs Zero Dosage 2010
16 of 20 Grüner Veltliner Black Edition 2016
16 of 20 Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel DAC  2017
16 of 20  Weissburgunder Alte Reben 2017
16 of 20 St. Laurent Alte Reben 2015
16 of 20 Pinot Noir Black Edition 2013
15.5 of 20 Roter Traminer Maxendorf 2017
15 of 20 Rosa Kalk 2017

Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben Reserve 2017: 17.5
Grapes from 60-year-old vines in the Steinberg vineyard on gravel picked at Auslese ripeness. RS 4.3 g/l, TA 5.5 g/l.Straw colour without much greenish tinge. Very intense nose. Impressive purity of fruit but arresting drama too. Very exciting and persistent.13% | Drink 2018-2028
£32 Roberson

Grüner Veltliner Bürsting Reserve 2017: 17
50-year-old vineson loam. RS 3.8 g/l, TA 5.3 g/l.
Firm greenish pale gold. Heady nose with some broad ripeness and a vegetal note. Lots to get
your teeth into here. Hint of lemon oil. Very pure. Interesting. Still a little chewy on the end.
Impressively juicy. 13% | Drink 2019-2026
£25 Roberson (2016)

Grüner Veltliner Sauberg Reserve 2017: 17
55-year-old vines on gravel and loam. RS 2.4 g/l, TA 5.5 g/l.
Deep greenish straw. Relatively light nose at the moment. Then on the palate is great juiciness
and appeal. A nice stony streak overlaid with very pure, precise fruit. Long and vibrant on the
end. Already accessible. Well done! 13% | Drink 2018-2025

Grüner Veltliner Hermanschachern 2017: 16.5
Single vineyard on limestone. RS 1.1 g/l, TA 5.6 g/l.
Ripe pear aromas – riper than the Weinviertel DAC wine. Elegant, dancing impact on the
palate. Clearly with lots still to come. Very long and pungent. 13% | Drink 2018-2026
£23 Roberson

Riesling Alte Reben 2017: 16.5
Nearly 70-year-old vines in the gravel and pebbles Steinberg vineyard. RS 9.5 g/l, TA 7.2 g/l.
Deep gold. Peppery and herbal. Very unlike most Rieslings; much richer and oilier. Grüner
really does seem to be the variety of choice for this producer! I could imagine enjoying this
with charcuterie in a year or two but it’s a bit too chewy for comfort at the moment. But
there’s a heck of a lot packed in there…13% | Drink 2019-2025

Blanc de Blancs Zero Dosage 2010: 16.5
RS 0 g/l. Handpicked Chardonnay grapes grown at Ried Alte Geringen. The soil is predominately loess. After the second fermentation, wine is left for six years on lees in bottle. No sulphur.
Deep gold. Like Loimer’s, this fizz has some autolysis on the nose. It’s much richer, however,
and is a bit of an antique! Tastes a bit like an old champagne – which of course a 2010
champagne wouldn’t – but it’s a nice wine. 13% Drink 2016-2021

Grüner Veltliner Black Edition 2016: 16
Very fancy packaging, with a heavy black bottle, black wax seal, black labels, the lot presented in a black drawstring bag. There’s a theme here…
Mid greenish straw. Intensely aromatic, very lightly reductive, nose. Extremely pure essenceof-Grüner nose. Tight and fresh and only just ready to drink. Admirably delicate on the palate
with great fruit/acid balance and impressive persistence. Just goes on and on. I’m still
experiencing this wine on the finish – although the nose seems to have diminished
considerably. Let me monitor this over time. Hint of grapefruit peel. It’s certainly good, but is it
very good? My score at the moment suggests good. Finish great, nose a little evanescent. 13% |
Drink 2018-2022

Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel DAC  2017: 16
The only blend from different sites from this enterprising winery.
Full of rich, jellied nose – reminds me of Turkish delight! Marked acidity but made with great
precision. 12% | Drink 2019-2022
£16 Roberson

Weissburgunder Alte Reben 2017: 16
60-year-old vines onloess with a high limestone content. RS 1 g/l, TA 6.4 g/l.
Ripe fruit and a good acidity level but there is not the intensity of the Grüners. A little bit
austere on the end. The producers suggest this will last even longer than their Grüners but I’m not sure. Though there is a little bit of the popcorn flavour of the variety. 13% | Drink 2018-2023

St. Laurent Alte Reben 2015: 16
Transparent garnet Pinot Noir sort of colour. Rather an agricultural nose. Frank fruit that’s nicely balanced and quite delicate on the palate. I wouldn’t cellar this wine that is well soft enough to drink without food. Reasonable charm here, but this doesn’t seem particularly ambitious. Pretty finish
though. 13% | Drink 2017-2020

Pinot Noir Black Edition 2013: 16
The full black monty for this wine (see details with its white counterpart). Very pale ruby – this almost looks dilute. Appealing light mushroomy nose. Sweet and satiny. Not as fresh as a red burgundy would be but it’s beguiling. All very low key but it works in a light pomade sort of way. Very clean but in a pale register. May have been a bit more vital when younger. 13% | Drink 2016-2020

Roter Traminer Maxendorf 2017: 15.5
This is marked Alte Reben on the back label. Packaged in a screwcapped half litre.
Light but pure Traminer nose. Pretty dry with a good charge of fruit but with some phenolics
on the end. Just very very slightly oily. Not thrilling but correct. 13.5% | Drink 2018-2020

Rosa Kalk 2017: 15
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot.
Pale tomato colour, looks like a saignée. Smells broad and just a little bit sickly. Good fruity
front palate but then the acid is a rather separate entity. Not very fine with a bit of a hole in
the middle. 12.5% | Drink 2018-2019


Latest reviews – Jancis Robinson: “This is an uncompromising producer!”

“The Ebner-Ebenauer wines represent an impressive if very selective picture of the Weinviertel.”

18 von 20 Grüner Veltliner „Alte Reben“ 16
18 von 20 Grüner Veltliner „Black Edition“ 16
17.5 von 20 Grüner Veltliner “Sauberg” 16
17 von 20 Grüner Veltliner „Bürsting“ 16
17 von 20 Grüner Veltliner „Hermanschachern“ 16
16.5 von 20 Weinviertel DAC 16
16 von 20 Grüner Veltliner 16

Alte Reben Gruner Veltliner Reserve 2016: 18
Their oldest Grüner vineyard – over 60 years old, on a gravelly soil. About 16-24 hours skin contact, spontaneous ferment, 70% in 500-litre barrels without temperature control. Long lees ageing before bottling in August 2017.Seductively creamy aroma but still with a stony/mineral dry character. On the palate this is gorgeous. Fantastic intensity, perfectly Grüner – could be nothing else – and with great texture, length and freshness. This is even better than the 2015. Outstanding harmony and a classic expression of Grüner from a great site. (JH)

Bursting Gruner Veltliner Reserve 2016: 17
Their oldest Grüner vineyard – over 60 years old, on a gravelly soil. About 16-24 hours skin contact, spontaneous ferment, 70% in 500-litre barrels without temperature control. Long lees ageing before bottling in August 2017. This still has all the hallmarks of fine Grüner: a stony, white-pepper quality to the citrus and a gentle herbal note and it has as well a mild and inviting creamy character from the oak influence. Firm in texture with a delicious orange-pith quality that is both flavour and texture. More power here than on the Hermanschachern and still beautifully balanced between fruit and texture. Long, tangy finish with a note of grapefruit in the fresh aftertaste. It may well age longer than I have suggested but it is already very good. (JH)

Hermannschachern Gruner Veltliner 2016: 17
The grapes from this vineyard are always harvested between Kabinett and Spätlese ripeness to retain minerality and saltiness – otherwise it would produce much higher sugar levels. Limestone and loess. Twelve hours skin contact. Spontaneous ferment in steel tanks and eight months on lees.
Very stony mineral overlay to fresh citrus fruit, more mineral than white pepper here. And it does have a real salty character on the nose. In the mouth it is even more marked, beautifully firm and dry and with a texture I would describe as peppery, as it is had very fine grains like finely milled pepper. There’s a delicious texture here, impressive length and excellent freshness. Very good indeed and even better than the 2015. Long, subtle, mouth-watering and moreish. (JH)

Sauberg Gruner Veltliner Reserve 2016: 17.5
Sauberg is owned by the Catholic church, and vines are over 50 years old. It is the high plateau behind the Bürsting vineyard, with a mix of clay, loess and stones. Tends to reach high ripeness levels. 16-24 hours skin contact. Spontaneous fermentation in 500-litre barrels and tank. Long lees contact and bottled August 2017.
Smells a little richer than the Bürsting, more spice and yet the Grüner white-peppery character shines through. There’s a creamy citrus gentleness on the nose allied to real power and drive on the palate. perfect balance of intensity and freshness. Very long and finely textured thanks to the careful winemaking. Peppery aftertaste. Another impressive wine from a region that struggles to gain recognition in comparison with its more famous Danube neighbours such as Kremstal and Wachau. (JH)

Gruner Veltliner Weinviertel 2016: 16.5
From the single vineyard called Birthal, light and pure sandy soils – the beach from an ancient sea. Vines 30+ years. Eight hours skin contact, fermented spontaneously in steel tanks. Six months on lees.Peppery citrus aroma with tangy lime fruit on the palate. Super-crisp and clean-cut and an almost dusty mineral character. Bone dry with a gentle phenolic grip, like the grain of pears, that works really well to add depth, length and interest. I don’t know the price but I imagine this would be GV. (JH)

Gruner Veltliner 2016: 16
This is their basic Grüner from younger vines (younger than 30 years). Harvested by hand, 6 hours‘ skin contact. Fermented in steel with selected yeast and spends 7 months on the lees.
Light stony aroma but still typically Grüner with a touch of white pepper and fresh pears. Lively, dry and with a long, slightly herbal finish, all the while that stony character shines through the fruit. Perfectly judged freshness on the finish and the merest hint of tannic texture from the skin contact – in a good way, adding length and interest. (JH)