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Schloss Gobelsburg: Tasting five decades of Heiligenstein Riesling

Stephen Brook records the history behind 17 wines spanning five decades from the 'most celebrated' vineyard in Austria's Kamptal wine region.

Austria is still rich in monastic estates, many of which own extensive vineyards. The Cistercian order of Stift Zwettl, now celebrating its 850th anniversary, is no exception. But a pious monk is not necessarily an expert winemaker, so most monastic estates lease out their vineyard holdings.

The monks of Gobelsburg made their own wines until 1995, when the retirement of Father Bertrand, who oversaw wine production, meant that they had to find a new solution.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 17 Schloss Gobelsburg Heiligenstein Rieslings

They negotiated a 60-year lease with the highly experienced local wine producer, Willi Bründlmayer, and with Michael Moosbrugger, who was still in his twenties.

The negotiations were completed in a mere six weeks, at which point, in January 1996, Moosbrugger moved into the Schloss, where he has remained ever since.

See tasting notes of 17 Schloss Gobelsburg Heiligenstein Rieslings

Wines are listed in score order. A Heiligenstein 1971 wine was also tasted but was corked.

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