This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Austrian White over £15 went to Leth, Scheiben Roter Veltliner, Wagram, Niederösterreich 2013 (13.5%)
- Atzberg, Obere Steilterrassen Grüner VeltlinerSmaragd, Wachau, Niederösterreich 2012
- FJ Gritsch Mauritiushof, Loibenberg Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau, Niederösterreich 2012
- Johann Donabaum, Spitzer Point Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau, Niederösterreich 2012
- Jurtschitsch, Schenkenbichl Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal, Niederösterreich 2012
- Lagler, Elisabeth Selection Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau, Niederösterreich 2012
- Winzer Krems, Kremser Pfaffenberg Riesling DAC Reserve, Kremstal, Niederösterreich 2012
Leth began life with a humble one hectare of vineyards in 1960. Planted by Franz Leth, for 30 years it only supplied the domestic market, but today its plantings stand at 50ha and 70% of its production is earmarked for export.
In 1980 his son, also called Franz, joined the family business. Yet another Franz Leth, came on board in 2006 and it is he who is now winemaker.
Leth focuses primarily on Pinot Noir, Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, but this Trophy is made from the more esoteric Roter Veltliner (no relation to Grüner), a grape, as Leth Jr explains, that is Wagram’s own: ‘Although it accounts for less than 1% of Austria’s planted grapes, it’s one of the oldest varieties in the country and indigenous to Wagram. It’s hard to work with in the vineyard and that’s why it’s never gathered major interest among vintners, but we have a true passion for it.
‘The Scheiben cuvée is from vines that are 50 years or older. As with the best Roter Veltliners, it can age for 20 years or more.’
Written by Decanter