Grüner Veltliner Moosburgerin, Felsner 2003 Kremstal
Paris 26 sep late: Just to say that I have only just learnt that Waitrose in the UK will not have this wine in all stores before the end of next week. My sincere apologies.
I hope that my recent overview and tasting notes from the recent Dry Riesling championship has reminded you, if it were necessary, of just how delicious good dry whites from Austria can be. Of course it was with Austria's own, full-bodied but aromatic grape Grüner Veltliner that the Austrians triumphed in the first of these Austria v Best of the Rest tastings on which I reported in 2002. So I thought you might appreciate a steer towards a wine I think a truly fine example of Grüner Veltliner from an up and coming address on the border of Kremstal and Kamptal – and at a much better price than it would be if it were a famous producer in Wachau.
Manfred Felsner took over the family's modest estate in 1990 and has clearly worked very hard. This is not a Riesling estate but specialises in coaxing the best possible vineyard-designated wine, notably from the estate's mature Grüner Veltliner vines, at least half of which are more than 30 years old. He and his family use minimal intervention in the vineyard and he has been steadily reducing yields for more expressive wines. Moosburgerin may not trip off the Anglophone tongue but it is one of the best sites in Gedersdorf. He also has some of the best sites in Rohrendorf in Kremstal and his white wines are made in a cellar carved out of the local loess more than 450 years ago. (The reds, which I have not tasted, are made elsewhere.)
I found this wine seriously tense and exciting (no 2003 flab) yet with real ripeness and concentration. "Thunderingly good", say my tasting notes – and a snip at the £7.99 which Waitrose supermarkets in the UK ask for it. (Waitrose have truly seen the light re Austrian whites and can also offer a fine Schloss Gobelsberg Grüner Veltliner 2003 Kamptal at £5.99 and a full yet racy Schloss Gobelsberg Riesling 2003 Kamptal at £7.49.)
Felsner wines are also exported to the US, Canada, Scandinavia and Holland via the importers listed below. The easiest way for American wine lovers to find them is via the redoubtable K&L of San Francisco at www.klwines.com or call 1-800-247 5987
Grape Expectations, Inc.
phone: (510) 412 5969 Ext. 10
Vergina International Inc.
phone: (416) 386 1080
phone: +31 346 56 18 20