Brundlmayer Ried Lamm Gruner Veltliner 2018
Distinguished & gripping from the start, already astonishingly complex & multifaceted, associations range from lime & ginger to red berry fruit, extremely juicy & distinctive, with a high factor of recognition; simultaneously rich & finely grained: a powerful physique with sweet extract and a wide array of flavors, downright chocolaty generosity, but also packed with dark, spicy fruit and flowing beautifully – above all characterized by the finesse that heralds the development of a great Lamm.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Impressive notes of flint and complex herbs here with a powerful, greenish array of fruit in behind. The palate delivers a very chiseled, rich and deeply concentrated feel with a toasty, glossy feel to the long, fresh and majestic finish. Drink or hold.
Bründlmayer's iconic, radiant, dark golden-yellow 2018 Grüner Veltliner Ried Lamm 1ÖTW displays a deep, pure, fresh and flinty, even slightly floral yet concentrated, intense and spicy, still untamed and darker-toned bouquet of crushed stones, yellow stone fruit and herbs. Lush, round and intense but pure and mineral on the crystalline palate, this is a full-bodied and tight, very concentrated and powerful Lamm with lively lemon freshness encountering phenolic and mineral elements. This is a sleeping giant and needs time, but it is among the most impressive Veltliners of the vintage. 14.5% alcohol. Tasted three times: at Schloss Grafenegg, at the domain in September 2019 and at home in October.
Ried Lamm sits at the far eastern edge of the Heiligenstein vineyard, a warm spot with deep soils of chalky clay and loess. In 2018, the Bründlmayers harvested their parcel at the end of October, when the grapes were very ripe yet still free of botrytis; they then fermented the juice in 300-liter casks (mostly Austrian oak, with some new acacia barrels), leaving it on the fine lees until the following summer. Right now, the oak is the first thing that reads in the wine, a rich, deep scent of freshly sawed wood. But give it a few hours open, and the oak subsides, revealing a delicious mix of smoky lees, browned butter and lemon supported by a firm mineral base. It’s a huge wine, Burgundian in its leesy, wood-driven character, grüner in its soil-driven texture and flavors, and absolutely delicious when taken all together.
Smoky nuttiness on the nose comes with just a glint of reduction. The palate then sweeps in with the juicy ripe fruit of redcheeked Mirabelle plums on a mellow palate that is given structure backbone by oak. This is full-on in every respect, a big, bold, fruity but structured mouthful that shimmers with peppery spice.
The Weingut Bründlmayer is situated in Langenlois, some 70 km north-west of Vienna, upstream along the Danube in the Lower Austrian Kamp Valley. The wooded hills of the Waldviertel protect the vineyards from the cold north-westerly winds. During the day, the sun warms the stony terraces, while at night the fresh, fragrant forest air drifts through the Kamp Valley into the Langenlois Arena. The wines are characterised by a combination of hot days and cool nights, the meeting of the Danube and Kamp valleys, and the geological and climatic diversity of the vineyards.
The winery includes the family dwelling, a cellar equipped with best available technology and a heuriger which is open almost all year round and where all wines can be tasted in a convivial atmosphere. The family members and a committed, enthusiastic workforce devote care and attention to the vinification of the hand-picked grapes.
Climbing north and slightly east of the Kremstal region, Kamptal has very little vineyard area bordering the Danube River (unlike Wachau and Kremstal, whose vineyards run along it). The region takes its name from the river called Kamp, which traverses it north and south. Kamptal’s densely planted vineyards represent eight percent of Austria’s total.
The area experiences wide diurnal temperature variations like the Wachau but with less rain and more frost. Its vast geologic diversity makes it suitable for various experimentations with other varieties besides Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder), Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, St. Laurent and Zweigelt.
But the region is probably most noted for the beautiful and expansive terraced Heiligenstein, arguably one of the world’s top Riesling sites, as well as some of Austria’s most extraordinary Grüner Veltliner vineyards. Kamptal’s soils, which are mostly loess and sand with some gravel and rocks, make it suitable for Grüner Veltliner, so much so that actually half of the zone is planted to that grape.
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.