2014ZahelOrangeT2014 Weingut Zahel, Orange T, Orangetraube, Vienna, Austria.
Zahel is a tiny winery in Vienna that makes wine from local organic grapes and sells most through their wine garden and restaurant Heuriger. They are most famous for their version of Gemischter Satz or field blend white, but they also do a rare Orangetraube, a native grape that is similar to Pinot Gris in it’s orange/pink grey hue when ripe, it makes for a very interesting white wine that is citrusy and fresh. Orangetraube is still not a classified varietal so it can’t even be labeled Orangetraube, hence the proprietary name Orange T on Zahel’s label! Vienna has five DAC growing zones in the city, pretty much lives up to it’s name Wein (Wine), I really must visit soon. Thanks goes out to the importer, Winemonger, for showing me this lovely wine, and while not as complex or as intense as either Gruner or Riesling this Zahel Orangetraube is a stylish and vibrant wine. Weingut Zahel has been around for four generations and Richard Zahel, ex-Racing car driver, and his son Alexander run the winery, they manage/own 25 acres of vines within the city of Vienna, they only begin selling outside of the city and Austria in 1994, but now have a following around the world including Tokyo and New York. Their Wiener Gemischter Satz, a mix of four or more white grapes is their flagship wine and it shows deeper layers that the fun Orangetraube, but I just was more intrigued by the Orange T and it is utterly delightful and a wine geek oddity that I couldn’t resist. The nose is mineral rich, bright and shows lime and white flowers leading to a crisp and light palate of white peach, melon, lemon/lime and tangy tart herbs as well as saline and wet shale. This stone fruit and citrus zesty white will be a quaffer you’ll enjoy all summer long, if you can fin Zahel wines where you are I highly recommend checking them out!
($18 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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