Weingut Machherndl, an 18-acre estate established in 1786, is run by 8th generation owner, Erich Machherndl, who believes in honest viticulture without compromises. His philosophy is simple: Keep focused on tradition, believe in the vines—especially the 100-year-old vines—and do not become distracted by the status symbols of modern viticulture. He has been called stubborn, but his first goal is to produce exquisite wines that can be enjoyed and admired for many years. His personal commitment to his philosophy is carefully supported by modern cellar management. Located in the Wachau Region of Austria, the wines are from 100% estate grown grapes, produced and bottled wines from single-vineyard sites.
In Austria’s Wachau Valley, falconers use the wings of doves - called Federspiel - to attract falcons. Federspeil wines, named for this tradition, must be at least 20 degrees Brix with an alcohol level between 11.5% and 12.5%.
The Pannonian climate zone extends from the east into the Wachau. Cool wet air masses, rich in oxygen, flow down from the Dunkelsteiner forest in the south to the Waldviertel in the north. This continuous circulation of air, combined with unique soil types, strongly influences the aromas forming in the grapes. The mountain terraces are mostly weathered rock (gneiss, silicate and rock brown earth) while the valleys below are covered partly with islands of loess that evolve into light, sandy soils. Terraces are around 450 meters (1,475 feet) above sea level and 250 meters (820 feet) above the Danube river.
The Ried Wösendorfer Kollmütz vineyard is marked by its eastern parcels of loess and predominantly bedrock clifffaced rocks towards the west. It has an average vine age of 47 years, on gneiss, and loess soills, at an elevation of about 860 feet (260m). This region has an early Spring, and a very hot summer, with almost no rainfall. Machherndl has four sites within Kollmütz that are planted on bedrock terraces and on the high plateau. Riesling, Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay vines thrive here. This Grüner Veltliner is fermented with wild yeasts, in stainless steel tanks, and aged in the same vessels. The only additions are protein stabilizations.
100% Grüner Veltliner.
Residual sugar = 1.9g/litre (ie very dry).
This wine has a complex bouquet offering fine cider, green walnut & light tobacco, with an ethereal perfume of mustard seed, juniper, chrysanthemum, lentils & white bread. The aromas follow to the precisely structured palate. Balanced & brilliant, this wine is the perfect accompaniment for food from surf and turf to veggies. A herbal-tangy food buddy at its finest
Fruity, textured white with apples, pears and spice on the palate and a hint of mint on the finish.
ABV = 12.0%.
The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition panel tasting of Grüner Veltliner (see blue link below).
Located in the prestigious Kamptal-Donau wine region of Austria, Weingut Rabl is a byword for wines of the highest quality. The winery enjoys a vine growing tradition dating back to 1750. Now under the careful eye of Rudolf Rabl Jr. the estate comprises 100 hectares of the best hillside vineyards in and around Langenlois. The Kamp Valley has a unique microclimate and rich soils with an abundance of minerals. Rudolf Rabl combines these natural resources with sustainable practices in the vineyard and modern winemaking techniques to produce a multi-award winning range of complex wines.
The vineyards sites surround the town of Langenlois, providing the option of selecting grapes from cooler, more windy sites that yield wines with vibrant acidity and combining them with those of more sun-exposed terraces producing rich wines. The vineyards are situated on broad loess terraces that are up to 40m deep, which yield powerful wines with vibrant acidity and mineral elegance.
Cold conditions in February and March led to later-than-usual budding, which meant the buds were not damaged by late frosts. The second warmest spring since 1767 enabled the vegetation cycle to catch up. Flowering took place early at the end of May. The hot summer was characterised by drought, young and shallow rooted vineyards were irrigated to protect them from extreme stress. Cool air at the end of August helped to retain freshness. The harvest started in August and was completed by October, with healthy, ripe grapes providing beautiful varietal typicity; full bodied wines with moderate acidity.
The harvest for this wine took four weeks; a careful combination of different harvest states that ranged from fresh and fruity with good acidity levels to later harvested grapes which contributed richness and more body. The wine was fermented and matured in stainless steel tanks, preserving the unique characteristics of each terroir.
100% Grüner Veltliner.
Subtle apple and green pepper aromas through to a spicy and vibrant, full flavoured and clean palate. A spicy opening with subtle aromas of apple, soft honeydew melon through to a well defined, creamy body with good fleshiness and juicy cascading acidity. A dynamic palate with a savoury peppery spicy finish. A lovely example of the Grüner Veltliner grape. Perfect with regional Austrian dishes such as pan-fried meat (schnitzel) with potato salad but also delicious with grilled seafood and creamy risottos.
ABV = 12.5%.
"A steely and fruity white with sliced green-apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium body. Dry. Crisp acidity. Long and energetic. Minerally at the end. Drink or hold. 94 points". James Suckling, Aug 2019
The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) (see blue link below).
Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).
The Trimbachs have a purist vision. For three centuries and across 13 generations, the family has produced wines that are structured, long-lived, fruity, elegant and balanced: the celebrated Trimbach style. The family personally looks after each operation, from planting to harvests and from vinification to bottling.
The viticultural origin of the Trimbach family dates back to 1626, when Jean Trimbach, was recognized as a citizen of Riquewihr. From then on, the Trimbach’s were renowned for their wine-growing. Maison Trimbach’s vineyards are all situated around Ribeauvillé (Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr, Bergheim, Rorschwihr, Riquewihr and Mittlewihr). They benefit from the unique Alsatian microclimate, thanks to the Vosges Mountains protection, which preserves the plain from the rain. The vineyards were planted on the Ribeauvillé’s fault line that fractured 50 million years ago between the Vosges Mountain range and the Black Forest offering a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called Muschelkalk.
In 2012, the Trimbach family bought 2 hectares of the well reputed Grand Cru Schlossberg. The first vintage was produced in 2014. Grand Cru Schlossberg has a granitic terroir. The vines are planted in horizontal terraces, south-facing, located next to the castle, just under the forest ... and the vineyard benefits from a cooler microclimate.
Handpicked as late as possible in order to achieve maximum ripeness, which in turn, gives optimum depth of flavour and complexity. The grapes are pressed very gently in a pneumatic press. The juice ferments in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 3 to 4 weeks.
The wine is not oak-aged, and is vinified to complete dryness with no residual sugar. Bottling is done early to preserve freshness, and the wine rests in bottle in the cellar for several years before reaching the marketplace, ensuring the wine is both ready to drink upon release but also can be cellared.
Delicate, dry, precise and able to age for at least 10 years (Exel say: considerably more). There is only a very limited, almost confidential production.
See reviews above for tasting notes.
ABV = 12.5%.