Groiss Domestic Product: Weinviertel Wealth

Winter 2019 offer

There’s an aura of joy that surrounds some wines. You feel it in the winemaker’s smile, in the look of the label, the scent of the juice and the way it bounds across the palate. Ingrid Groiss is one such winemaker. Wherever she went during CellarHand’s 20th Anniversary tastings in February, she was mobbed by grinning tasters. The joy was infectious.
The latest shipment from the Weinviertel superstar gives us a deeply satisfying spread, with the ’17 Sauberg Grüner sitting alongside the Auf der Henne Riesling at the top of the tree, the regional Grüner Veltliner and Gemischter Satz the bargains at the base, and the Hasenhaide rosé – the vineyard name means “garden of the hares” – marking a delightful diversion.

2018 Groiss Grüner Veltliner RRP $29
100% Grüner Veltliner from calcareous loess and ferruginous soils. Selectively hand harvested at the end of October by hand in several steps. Six hours’ maceration on the skins. Gently pressed without stems and fermented with a combination of vineyard and neutral yeasts. Aged on the full lees in stainless steel tank till bottling in February 2019. Alcohol 12.5%, RS 2.2g/L; acidity 5.8g/L.

White pepper, crushed sage and a touch of citrus promise savouriness. The palate delivers with full-on white pepper spiciness, slender freshness and lovely, pithy, salty, yeasty texture. This is a little pepper bomb full of life and verve. The finish is dry and appetizing. 92 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019

2018 Groiss Gemischter Satz RRP $32
Gemischter Satz is a wine from different grape varieties that are grown together in a single vineyard. The grapes are hand-harvested together and are also processed together. It’s the most traditional way of planting in Austria. Among the varieties in Ingrid Groiss’s Gemischter Satz are Chardonnay, Müller Thurgau, Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Grauburgunder, Pinot Blanc, Frühroter Veltliner, Neuburger, Zierfandler, Rotgipfler, Sämling, Roter Veltliner, Grauer Vöslauer, Hietl Rote, Weiße Vöslauer and Silberweiße. The soils are calcareous conglomerate. After selective harvesting at the end of October, the grapes undergo an eight-hour maceration on the skins followed by gentle pressing without stems. The wine was aged on full lees in stainless steel tank till bottling in February 2019. Alcohol 12.5% RS 3g/L; acidity 6g/L.

Fresh green apple, green pear and crushed yarrow on the nose promise vivid flavours. The palate obliges with slender, clean-cut freshness, assisted by some slight spritz and lots of yellow apple fruitiness. This is bright, easy, slender and entirely appetizing. 91 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019

2017 Groiss Ried Sauberg Tradition Grüner Veltliner RRP $75
100% Grüner Veltliner from the Sauberg site, which features vines of more than 50 years of age on calcareous conglomerate soils. The grapes were selectively harvested by hand over several passes. The gently crushed fruit had 11 hours of skin contact before gentle pressing without stems. Fermented with vineyard yeasts in used Austrian oak barrels. Aged for 11 months on full lees until bottling in September 2017. Alcohol 13.5%; RS 2.9g/L; acidity 5.3g/L.

A riper aspect of pear plays on the nose, but it is not until the wine reaches the palate that it comes alive. There is a still tight core that holds notes of yeast, shimmering white pepper, celery salt and wet earth, which unfold slowly with a bit of air. This is concentrated but not heavy, impressive but relaxed and simply balanced perfectly. 94 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019

2016 Groiss Auf der Henne Riesling RRP $64
100% Riesling from the Auf der Henne site, which has vines of more than 30 years of age sitting on soils of white gravel. The fruit was selectively harvested by hand at the beginning of November 2016. It had a 12-hour maceration on the skins and was gently pressed before fermentation in stainless steel with vineyard yeasts. Aged for 10 months on full lees till bottling in September 2017. Alcohol 13%; residual sugar 13.1g/L; acidity 5.8g/L. The wine shows hints of white blossom, honey, citrus zest, hints of white peach and herbal notes. Juicy and mineral with sweet extract and stone fruit on the palate, with balanced acidity and a saline lick on the finish.

For the Weinviertel region, this a daring and complex dry Riesling that’s still slightly funky from long lees contact. The palate has some serious tannins, which may be too challenging if what you want is a fruity wine. However, there are attractive apricot and herbal notes, too. Powerful, dry finish. Better from 2019. 92 points. Stuart Pigott, October 2018

2018 Groiss Hasenhaide Rosé RRP $28
A blend of Pinot Noir and Zweigelt from soils of gravel with limestone. The bunches were selectively hand harvested over several passes. The grapes were given five hours of skin contact before gentle pressing. Kept on the lees until the end of January. Fermented and raised in stainless steel. Alcohol 12.5%; RS 1.4/L; acidity 6.7g/L.

Tart red currant and fresh strawberry on the nose continue with a little spritz on the bright, fresh and citrusy palate. A lovely, pristine, light, dry and appetizing rosé just calling for summer! Look at the pretty label and guess the song? 90 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019