Hannes Schuster was one of a Burgenland trio to hit Australia back in August alongside Gerhard Pittnauer and Roland Velich of Moric. He was a hit – understated and yet you could sense the confidence behind a dry demeanour. It was his first time here but he showed admirable awareness, telling us how important it was for his entry-level wines – a Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and Sankt Laurent – to be way better than people imagined, and cost far less than their quality would suggest. He couldn’t expect anyone to know Burgenland or the grapes, he reasoned, so why would they give a shit unless the wines blew them away? Sound.
The fact some thought he looked like David Wenham didn’t harm his instant fame. And these new arrivals will ensure that his star keeps rising.
2018 Rosi Schuster Aus den Dorfern RRP $43
A blend of Grüner Veltliner 60% and mixed plantings. Aged in big oak barrels and stainless steel tank. “This wine is for me a bit more precise than the previous vintages,” says Hannes. “2018 was warm with a super early start of the harvest but there is enough freshness which comes from the soils of limestone and gneiss.”
2017 Rosi Schuster Sankt Laurent RRP $39
Austrian reds are invariably interesting, and quite different: no change here. Smells of smoked paprika, a suggestion of petting zoo, red and black cherries, boysenberry, iodine and violets too. Light bodied, a brisk sort of ‘mineral’ feel, but plenty of spicy flavour to grab onto, too. Light rasp of tannin, water-coloured, subtle finish, not so long, but kind of precise and satisfying all the same. Curious, but very good. 92 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front December 2018
2018 Rosi Schuster Rotburger RRP $39
The fruit comes from vineyards with vines ranging from 15 to 45 years old vines t 45 years old vineyard. 30% whole bunch fermentation. Aged partly in stainless steel and partly seasoned oak.
2017 Rosi Schuster Blaufränkisch RRP $39
2017 overall is one of my favourite vintages, with best concentration combined with super freshness. Here we have a super serious “entry-level” Blaufränkisch. I think it’s perhaps our best interpretation of this wine… so far. – Hannes Schuster
2014 Rosi Schuster Reserve Blaufränkisch / Sankt Laurent RRP $58
2014 was the most difficult harvest Hannes Schuster has ever had to deal with. He had to do “an unbelievable selection” and lost a lot of grapes because of the rainy weather. However, the result is great: very straight, fine wines, pure and elegant. This blend is 70% Blaufränkisch from Zagersdorf (loam and limestone) and 30% Sankt Laurent from Sankt Margarethen (sand and limestone). The Sankt Laurent underwent spontaneous whole-bunch fermentation in open wooden casks. The wine was aged in 500-litre barrels and, after 12 months, was blended into a bigger oak barrel. It was bottled after 21 months without fining and without filtration.
The 2014 Reserve Blaufränkisch/Sankt Laurent contains 70% of Blaufränkisch and just 30% of Sankt Laurent due to the bad weather conditions for Laurentius and the loss of many grapes. This wine, which I tasted as a barrel sample at VieVinum in June, reflects Schuster’s ideas of variety, origin, vintage, and style. From 30- to 50-year-old vines, the 2014 is a ripe and intense yet pure, beautifully fresh and firmly structured red with lots of black cherry flavors, fine tannins, great tension and grip. Still young, this is a classical Hannes Schuster red indeed! 90-91 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate June, 2016
2012 Rosi Schuster Blaufränkisch Rusterberg RRP $91
Unfined and unfiltered Blaufränkisch from the village of Rust on the hills beside Lake Neusiedl.
Smells pleasingly rustic with red berries, briar, turned soil, old spice cupboard, ferrous things. In the palate, more medium weight than light weight, quite a sour-sweet wine, but in that pleasing, amaro-like way. Texture is suede, touch dusty, but feels rich in personality of fruit. Finishes refreshing and faintly ripe, red berry fruit sweet. Lots to mull over and enjoy. 93 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front January 2016
2013 Rosi Schuster Blaufränkisch Sankt Margarethen RRP $131
The 2013 Sankt Margarethen Blaufränkisch is a great village wine from Austria’s Burgenland. Concentrated and fleshy, with white-pepper powder and black-olive flavors highlighting the perfectly ripe dark cherry, blackberry and cassis aromas on the nose, this is a round and full-bodied, pure, fresh and elegant wine with remarkable fine tannins. This is probably the Blaufränkisch where fruit wine drinkers and Nebbiolo fans could come together. The concentration here is enormous and so is the tannin and acidity, but also: how refined. The finish is pure, fresh and long and reveals a stimulating robustness with leather and tobacco flavors in the aftertaste. What purity, vitality, finesse and elegance! 94 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate June 2016