Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I recently attended a BLIND tasting of Austrian Red Wines led by Austrian wine export, Michael Thurner (Wine MBA) and hosted by Christian Kesberg of the Austrian Trade Commission. Mr. Thurner is the President of Austrian Fine Brands and presently resides in Singapore, with hopes of capturing the Asian audience with his extensive portfolio of Austrian wines.

Austrian white wines have been the talk of the trade, as of late, since 2003 when Austria introduced a new classification system similar to that of France and Italy. The system is called the DISTRICTUS AUSTRIA CONTROLLTUS or DAC. The new system simplifies the difficult, complicated system of the past. With the red and white signature caps on the bottles, Austrian whites have made great strides in placement in the American market. The reds have not, as of yet.

The blind tasting conclusively demonstrated that the red wines of Austria belong in our wine stores, as well as on our wine cellars. Imagine mixing in a 2004 Chateau Mouton Rothchild Pauillac; a 2004 Chateau Magaux Premier Grand Cru Classe ; a 2004 Chateau Lafleur Pomerol and a 2004 M. Chapoutier Le Pavillion Ermitage into the blind mix of Austrian reds. Michael Thurner's psychology worked, as the usual suspect wine writers from the New York City area
were prey to higher standards of reds set by Mr. Thurner. He dazzled our tastebuds with obscure Austrian reds that matched and often exceded their French counterparts. On most occasions the Austrian reds beat the French classics in taste, aroma and style. We were amazed at the results and now, have a belief in the Austrian reds, as the new wines of the future.

It has taken many years for a new red catagory of wine to appear. The Austrian reds have filled that need.

Austrian reds range from cool climate elegance to Super Austrian wines. There are four major red grapes in Austria:
ZWIEGELT ( the most abundant grape)

BLAUFRANKISCH ( possibly the best grape>spicy and tannic)

ST. LAURENT ( soft and herby for Pinot Noir)

BLAUER PORTUGIESER ( soft and used mainly for table wines that are drunk immediately)

These grapes produce some of the great wines of the world. If you cannot find Austrian reds in your local wine store, please ask your wine merchant to order these exciting wines.

This is a short list of Austrian reds that will introduce you to 'The Next Big Thing":
2006 Markowitsch Pinot Noir Reserve

2004 Johanneshof Reinisch Saint Laurent Holzpur (spicy red)

2004 Markowitsch M1 (Merlot)

2004 Weninger Verathina (super Austrian)

2004 Arachon T. FX.T. Evolution

For further infomation feel free to contact Ms. Stephanie Artner of the Austrian Trade Commission at:
212- 421-5250 or via e-mail at



Richard said...

I have tried some Austrian reds and have to say, most of them are good value for money. Blaufrankish was my absolutely top. Weninger in Burgenland was very good. Spend 25 Dollar and you will be blown away.

Look out for older vintages (at least 2006 or before) now as this grape is very closed when young.

A good fruity one, spicy peppery nose and probably a good match with red meet I found for 17US$ from Weninger winery at Acker Merrall at 16W, 72nd street in New York.

Anonymous said...

Austrian reds are really wonderful wines that are not on the radar, yet.
Good values for high quality wine and hard to find.
A very insightful article has, once again, created a passion for Austrian reds. A 'new passion' that I will follow to Acker Merril, as suggested by Richard.

CChamberlain said...
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