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Austria’s top-scoring wines: Diversity to discover

Across a range of styles and grape varieties, discover a selection of Austria’s top-scoring wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards…

The consistent quality of wines from Austria is evident year after year at the Decanter World Wine Awards, and results from the 2020 competition showcase the depth and breadth of wines available to discover. 

On judging Austrian wines at DWWA last August, judge Jan Konetzki commented, ‘We have felt that classically the Rieslings are very good, but also there have been a couple of really fantastic field blends. 

‘In general there’s a wide diversity, but also a very high level of Austrian wines. It’s really one of the countries in Europe where we have generally such a high level [of wines] that you can really pinpoint, so we’re very, very happy with the turnout.’


Scroll down to see the top-scoring Austrian wines from DWWA 2020 and tasting notes


DWWA judge Dirceu Vianna Junior MW also points to the high quality of Austria’s wines, highlighting the country’s ‘interesting red wines to be discovered further afield’ on Decanter Premium’s ‘Top wine trends for 2021: countries, varieties and styles worth exploring.’ 

Below, from sparkling to sweet, or Chardonnay to Blaufränkisch, discover the diversity of Austria’s wines with a selection of top-scoring wines from DWWA 2020…

Austria’s top-scoring wines: Diversity to discover

Sparkling

Loimer, Reserve Extra Brut, Niederösterreich NV

Gold, 95 points
Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Opulent and toasty nose which reveals toasted nuts, grapefruit pith and smoke. Wonderfully vibrant palate; bone dry but packed with candied lemon peel, salted almonds and red berries, prior to an intense, creamy and textured finish.

Weingut Stift Klosterneuburg, Mathäi Grosse Reserve Zero Dosage, Wien NV

Silver, 93 points
Chardonnay
Gentle yet crisp, with aromas of mirabelle, candied orange peel and sour dough, then an opulent, creamy but structured palate showing lingering brioche.

Bründlmayer, Rosé Brut, Niederösterreich NV

Silver, 91 points
Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, St Laurent
Wonderful character, showing aromas of peach ice tea, wild strawberry and fresh red currants, with a creamy texture run through with crisp acidity.

White

Weingut Birgit Eichinger, Ried Zöbinger Gaisberg 1ÖTW Riesling, Kamptal, Niederösterreich 2018

Gold, 95 points
Riesling
Elegant and multi-faceted, with a nose reminiscent of apricots, peaches, lemon peel and smoke. To taste it displays a cool, cracked-stone minerality, tangerine peel, hay and flint, then a wonderfully long and salty finish.

Weingut Gross, Ried Nussberg Sauvignon Blanc, Südsteiermark, Steiermark 2017

Silver, 94 points
Sauvignon Blanc
Opulent and pure, with a touch of flint gracing notes of ripe apricot, Cape gooseberry and butterscotch, with a fine line of acidity and a vanilla background.

Weingut Sattlerhof, Ried Pfarrweingarten Morillon, Südsteiermark, Steiermark 2017

Silver, 94 points
Morillon
Refined and subtly aromatic nose, marked by cool lemon, rosemary and flinty notes. Lively and elegant to taste, with a compelling texture and a saline edge.

Weingut Andreas Gsellmann, Pannobile Weissburgunder, Neusiedlersee, Burgenland 2018

Silver, 93 points
Pinot Blanc
Rich nose of apricot and peach, with hints of wood smoke and toast. The palate brings well-integrated oak and lively acidity; long, fruit-driven finish.

Domäne Wachau, Ried Achleiten Smaragd Grüner Veltliner, Wachau, Niederösterreich 2019

Silver, 92 points 
Grüner Veltliner
Powerful nose of ripe peach and mango, lifted by honeysuckle and blossom, then a palate showing lovely texture, yellow fruit and driven by zesty acidity.

Malat, Ried Steinbühel 1ÖTW Erste Lage Riesling, Kremstal, Niederösterreich 2017

Silver, 92 points
Riesling
Aromatic and structured, with a nose blessed with rosemary, peach and preserved lemon, then a defined palate underpinned by pronounced acidity before the lime pastille finish.

Weingut Schloss Halbturn, Chardonnay, Burgenland 2015

Silver, 92 points
Chardonnay
Expressive and multi-layered nose, showcasing ripe apricot, beeswax and hazelnuts, before a generous and creamy palate blessed with gingerbread spice, red apple and peach.

Red

Leo Hillinger, Blaufränkisch, Leithaberg, Burgenland 2016

Gold, 95 points
Blaufränkisch
Lovely scents of blackcurrant, mulberry, plum and toast. A wine of true distinction with grainy tannins, sweet ripe fruit and a protracted, spicy finish. Very impressive.

Schloss Halbturn, Imperial Rot, Neusiedlersee, Burgenland 2015

Silver, 93 points
Blaufränkisch, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Structured and ripe, with a black-fruited core of dried figs, plum and cherry, complemented by bell pepper, cooked meats and chocolate.

Umathum, Vom Stein St. Laurent, Burgenland 2013

Silver, 93 points
Saint Laurent
Ageing gracefully, with a smoky nose augmented by dried meats, tobacco and ripe berries. Delicate, silky palate, with mature but ripe fruit, black pepper and oak spice.

Höpler, Blaufränkisch, Burgenland 2017

Silver, 92 points
Blaufränkisch
Characterful and crunchy, with sour cherries, raspberry and cranberry overlaying deeper tones of smoke, nutmeg and game.

Weingut Lentsch, Reserve Zweigelt, Neusiedlersee, Burgenland 2017

Silver, 91 points
Zweigelt
Sleek and polished, with vanilla and sweet spices augmented by dark chocolate and defined fruits including blackcurrants, black cherries and elderberries.

Sweet

Kracher, Cuvée Beerenauslese, Burgenland 2017

Platinum, 97 points
Welschriesling, Chardonnay
Wonderfully plush and structured, with deep aromas of spiced marmalade, barley sugar, apricot jam and dried pears. This fills the mouth with refreshing, serious flavours of honey, tarte tatin and exotic fruits which linger throughout the significant tail.

Umathum, Beerenauslese, Burgenland 2017

Gold, 96 points
Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Traminer
Explosive, exotic and rich, with beautiful aromas of candied ginger, starfruit, ripe apricot and caramelised pineapple. In the mouth it’s luscious but fresh, showing candied flowers, mango and papaya.

Lenz Moser, Prestige Beerenauslese, Burgenland 2018

Silver, 94 points
Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Samling
Defined and refreshing notes of candied grapefruit, mild spices, peach syrup and dried mango, bound in bright acidity with a floral end.

Weingut Stift Klosterneuburg, Riesling Beerenauslese, Wien 2017

Silver, 93 points
Riesling
Expressive and lively, with citrus curd, dried apricots, dried pear and tangerine peel, with wonderfully defined acidity driving through to the vibrant finish.


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Results for the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 will be announced this July on Decanter.com

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