Richards Walford      Importers of Wine  
Austria
Previous Reports
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Austria 2010 Vintage Report - June 2011 “A Question of Balance”
Austria 2009 Vintage Report - June 2010 “Alles in Ordnung”

Austria 2008 Vintage Report - June 2009 “Down to the Line”
Austria 2007 Vintage Report - June 2008 “A Dip in the Curve”
Austria 2006 Vintage Report - July 2007 “Groβe Busen
Austria 2005 Vintage Report - June 2006 “Focus and Finesse”
Austria 2004 Vintage Report - June 2005

Austria 2003 Vintage Report - June 2004
Austria 2002 Vintage Report - June 2003
Austria Report - June 2002


Austria 2011 Vintage Report - June 2012 “Gott sei Dank, dass im Juli schlechtes Wetter war!”
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Introduction
So pronounced one of our Austrian Winzer – rare to hear a farmer welcome bad weather. The Austrian marketing board weighed in with a rather more prosaic and measured verdict, ‘Good wine, good quantities’, forgetting that much of the press mistakenly associate low yields with quality. The truth is that without that bad June, it would have inevitably been a very early harvest eschewing the long hang time, which is widely credited with being a criterion of complexity in the Wachau. High temperatures in August brought the risk of grilled grapes, but fortunately the Wachau is equipped with drip irrigation systems which can mitigate such potential damage. The Indian summer in early September caused rapidly rising sugar levels and presented problems for the production of the lighter categories of Steinfeder and Federspiel. There is no evidence, however, that this tendency was exacerbated as the autumn wore on; indeed F-X Pichler, the latest of pickers, has Smaragd wines at between 13.5 and 14.5% - I have known them a comfortable degree over that. 2011 has not produced fat wines like 2006; there was virtually no botrytis and no flattening out of terroir characteristics - quite the opposite - even if analytical acidity levels are in stark contrast to those high ones of 2010. These taste for the most part well balanced wines, and were I to take on the odious responsibility of comparison, I would point to the filigree quality of 2005, but with greater structure and concentration. The Rieslings, it seems to me, dominate the Grüners for power of expression, with some wines displaying extraordinary poise and beauty.

Roy Richards

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