Grüner Veltliner - Leo Alzinger
Leo Alzinger is based in Unterloiben and is without doubt one of the true Wachau superstars.
This fine estate makes superlative single vineyard wines from premium mountain sites including Loibenberg, Steinertal, Hollerin and Liebenberg, with soil types including sandy loam and eroded primary rock.
The estate totals about 8 hectares and production is very small at just 5000 cases per year. Grape varieties are 55% Grüner Veltliner, 40% Riesling - there used to be Chardonnay but it is gone, we have some of the last worldwide and it is truly magical.
There are in fact two Leo Alzingers, Father and son, with Leo Junior having joined his Father in 2000 is now in charge. The third generation has a few years to go yet...
Whatever the generation, Leo Alzinger's wines are simply awesome. They are right up there with the very best the Wachau has to offer and deserve every bit of attention they get. The superstar status is well deserved, yet this remains a small family business embodying individuality and an unceasing quest for quality.
A mature Alzinger wine is a joy to imbibe, if somewhat hard to come by. Alzinger's wines are bottled quite late by Wachau standards, often in June or July, while the Wachau rules permit earlier release of Smaragd wines to the market on 1 May.
Breaking into our consciousness during the last ten to fifteen years, Grüner Veltliner continues to excite and grow in popularity. This is Austria’s most planted grape. Grüner Veltliner deserves all the praise that it has been given. Not only is it a versatile grape in terms of style but it has tremendous ageing capability, allowing for some tremendous stylistic variations brought on through maturity. The serious versions challenge other lofty white wines very effectively, winning at blind and trade tastings and in the hearts and cellars of sommeliers.
Grüner Veltliner is a very food-friendly wine with a spicy, peppery nose and flavours of lime, peach, quince and honey. It is a grape that ages well and the depth of flavour intensifies with each passing year. Sweet wines and sparkling wines are also produced to great effect. Grüner Veltliner is a welcome partner to many foods that you would not immediately expect to match with a white - it is arguably one of the world's most flexible grapes at the table. Try it with foods you would have considered traditional red wine territory, and heavy reds at that, like Duck Confit or a Beef Roast.
So what is Grüner Veltliner like? It is often described as being spicy, with aromas/flavours which include green and yellow apples, freshly ground white pepper, meadow flowers, underripe melon, green vegetables, (green beans and freshly broken pea pods spring to mind), newly mown grass, a flinty minerality and undefined citrussy notes, sort of halfway between lime and grapefruit. Lentils, mustard, and cress are commonly cited. Fruitier examples may show rhubarb and strawberry aromas. Depending on where it's grown, there may also be tropical and stone fruit (peaches, apricots), an earthiness and a mossy/herby/undergrowth smell.
Grüner Veltliner Dürnsteiner Federspiel Leo AlzingerSeriously good Grüner Veltliner.
Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Mühlpoint Leo Alzinger
Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Loibenberg Leo AlzingerAlzinger's warmest Grüner
Steinertal Grüner Veltliner Smaragd/Federspiel Leo AlzingerAnother Leo Alzinger masterpiece.
Grüner Veltliner Reserve Leo AlzingerOne the finest Grüner Veltliner you will ever taste.