Berger Lossterrassen Kremstal DAC Gruner Veltliner 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Zesty lime and green fern aromas rise from the glass. The palate merely adds a little green pear fruit to this refreshing and enlivening combo of utter cleanness and verve. The linearity and drive make this moreish, very exciting and totally lip-smacking. Echoes of pepper on the aftertaste make it even more intriguing.
This is a father/son estate of fourteen hectares. Half of the land consists of south-facing loess terraces with locally renowned names. Vines are Riesling, Veltliner, Pinot Blanc and the “C” word. There’s some land on the Gedersdorf plateau that’s planted to red varieties. All the wines are made dry, of course. They use cultured yeasts to get slow fermentations and to preserve the utmost CO2. Berger is all stainless steel, of course. Technology for controlling fermentation temperatures, by no means universal in Austria, has been in use here since 1990.
The region of considerable geologic diversity and microclimates, Kremstal extends virtually without border east from Wachau along the Danube River. Its magnificent terraced and rocky vineyards in the west alongside Wachau include some of Austria’s most esteemed Riesling vineyards, the (Steiner) Hund and Pfaffenberg, as well as Kögl and Wachtberg nearer to the city of Krems. After Krems, the vineyards become excessively steep upstream around Senftenberg where Riesling and Grüner Veltliner thrive. Grüner Veltliner does best from here east where the soils become a mix of sand, gravel and loess.
Grüner Veltliner and Riesling together comprise two thirds of all of the Kremstal vineyards; the region itself represents about five percent of Austria’s total vineyard area.
Fun to say and delightfully easy to drink, Grüner Veltliner calls Austria its homeland. While some easily quaffable Grüners come in a one-liter—a convenient size—many high caliber single vineyard bottlings can benefit from cellar aging. Somm Secret—About 75% of the world’s Grüner Veltliner comes from Austria but the variety is gaining ground in other countries, namely Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States.