2019 Weingut Leo Alzinger, Gruner Veltliner, Durnstein, Federspiel, Wachau, Austria.
The brilliantly clear 2019 Durnstein Federspiel Gruner from Leo Alzinger is a near perfect example of this region, grape and style with classic brisk citrus led flavors that include lemon/lime, white peach and green apple fruits and wet rock, saline, almond oil, a touch of leafy herbs and verbena. This light bodied Gruner is more complex and shows more depth than first impressions give, but is still lacy and refreshing at its core, it is very delightful and vibrant, highlighting the highly regarded vintage here in the Wachau, along the Danube to the west of Vienna. The Leo Alzinger winery is located in Unterloiben, just across the street from the legendary Emmerich Knoll and the wines here, first introduced to me by famed importer Terry Theise, are some of Austria’s most exciting wines and this one continues that trend of excellence, these current releases are crystalline and riveting offerings, especially the set of Gruners from the steeper parcels. Alzinger’s Grüner Veltliner, according to winery, is cultivated on the lower, silty, loess based plots, which allows pure and ripe profiles as this beauty shows, and the aromatics, while subtle, are lovely gaining nice floral notes as it opens in the glass.

The 2019 Alzinger Dursten Gruner Veltliner comes from multiple sites within the Durnstein, set on a combination of clay mixed with gneiss, mica schist, loam and sandy gravelly soils, all of which adds to the depth here and the cool climate allows for greater retainment of zesty acidity. Alzinger crushes whole cluster with a short maceration, and it should be noted Alzinger encourages a bit of skin contact, then allows the must to settle for 24 hours, dropping any green tannins out. I was told and understand Leo used natural yeast with a spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel vats and the short elevage was done employing mostly stainless steel tanks, but with a small amount of neutral Austrian oak to add to the roundness and presence on the palate. The Danube River’s influence is felt on the terroir driven character here and this wine is a true expression of place, I am again incredibly impressed with what is on display in this fine Gruner and I am thinking I’ll want quite av few more bottles for Summer. The value here is fabulous and the winemaking is pristine, I can’t wait to enjoy my next bottle with oysters and or steamed claims, as well as with grilled artichokes. Not only does Alzinger do fantastic Gruner, he also produces stellar Rieslings too, equally as profound and powerful, in particular chase down the Ried Steinertal Smaragd, this winery is one to follow, and don’t miss these 2019s!
($25 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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