Blind Tasting yields excellent Results for Austria

(AWMB, November 2002) - Austrian wines have once more successfully defended their top ranking among the world’s greatest. A comparative blind tasting on 30 October 2002, organized by the fine wine dealer and collector Jan-Erik Paulson, and hosted by Jancis Robinson MW and Tim Atkin MW, highlighted the astounding potential of Austria’s Chardonnays and of its “secret weapon”, the Grüner Veltliner grape, a varietal with immense profundity and expressiveness. Austrian Chardonnays and Grüner Veltliners were compared to some of the world’s most prestigious Chardonnays from Burgundy, California, and Australia.

Grüner Veltliner has been recognized to be a white grape capable of producing wines with a richness, profundity, complexity and ageing potential equalled only by great Riesling and Chardonnay. “It seemed a logical choice to compare the greatest Grüner Veltliners and the greatest Chardonnays,” says Jan-Erik Paulson, “especially as the two can often have very similar aromas. Both are good food wines, and both reflect their terroir, though Grüner Veltliner often shows more fruit and freshness than Chardonnay.”

The tasting, which was attended by wine journalists, importers, and sommeliers from leading London restaurants, comprised six flights of prestigious Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay, classed into three vintage categories. The results were astounding.

Seven of the first ten places were occupied by Austrian wines, with Knoll, Bründlmayer (2x), Velich, Prager, Loimer, and Freie Weingärtner Wachau, beating an international field including famous names like Louis Latour (Burgundy), Gaja (Italy), Mondavi (California), and Baron Thénard (Burgundy). The highest-rated Chardonnay of the tasting, on place three, was the Chardonnay Tiglat 1997 by Velich (Burgenland, Austria).

The first place was awarded to a 1990 Grüner Veltliner "Vinothekfüllung" Smaragd, Knoll (Wachau, Austria) with an average rating of 18.09 points, followed by a 1997 Grüner Veltliner "Ried Lamm", Bründlmayer (Kamptal, Austria) with 17.78 points. The first non-Austrian wine in the rating was a 1998 Byron Chardonnay, Nielson Vineyards, Mondavi (California) at place five. Astonishingly, all three categories of wines tasted were won by Austrian wines.

Final Result - Blind Tasting, London, Groucho Club, October 30th, 2002 Chardonnay & Grüner Veltliner

Overall Result Flight 1-6

01

1990

"Vinothekfüllung" Smaragd, Knoll, Austria

18,09

02

1997

Grüner Veltliner "Ried Lamm", Bründlmayer, Austria

17,78

03

1997

Chardonnay Tiglat, Velich, Austria

17,67

04

1990

Grüner Veltliner Steinriegl Smaragd, Prager, Austria

17,66

05

1998

Byron Chardonnay, Nielson Vineyards, Mondavi, California

17,63

06

2000

Grüner Veltliner Exceptionell, Freie Weingärtner Wachau, Austria

17,54

07

1999

Grüner Veltliner Spiegel Alte Reben, Loimer, Austria

17,51

08

1996

Kistler, Dutton Ranch, California

17,51

09

1999

Chardonnay 100% Barrique, Mulderbosch, South Africa

17,48

10

1990

Chardonnay, Bründlmayer, Austria

17,33

11

1997

Yattarna, Penfold, Australia

17,15

12

2000

Grüner Veltliner Lamm, Schloss Gobelsburg, Austria

17,06

13

1999

Chardonnay Rey, Gaja, Italy

17,03

14

1997

Morillon "Zieregg", Manfred Tement, Austria

16,87

15

1995

Grüner Veltliner Kellerberg, F.X. Pichler, Austria

16,84

16

1999

Grüner Veltliner Wösendorfer Hochrain Smaragd, Rudi Pichler, Austria

16,82

17

2000

Chardonnay Grand Select, Wieninger, Austria

16,74

18

1990

Corton Charlemagne, Louis Latour

16,72

19

2000

Chardonnay Kumeu River, New Zeeland

16,69

20

1997

Chardonnay, Hamilton Russel, South Africa

16,67

21

1999

 Chardonnay, Gantenbein, Switzerland

16,55

22

1999

Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, Australia

16,51

23

1999

Kongsgaard Napa Valley Chardonnay, California

16,48

24

1997

Montrachet, Domaine Baron Thénard, Burgundy

16,48

25

2000

Morillon (Chardonnay) Ratscher Nussberg, Alois Gross, Austria

16,334

26

2000

"Weiss" (Chardonnay/Grüner Veltliner), Schwarz, Austria

16,25

27

1995

Grüner Veltliner Steinertal, Alzinger, Austria

16,25

28

1999

Grüner Veltliner Rosenberg Reserve, Bernhard Ott, Austria

16,24

29

1990

Les Clos Chablis, Dauvissat

16,21

30

1999

Grüner Veltliner Piri Privat, Nigl, Austria

16,13

31

1999

Meursault "Charmes", Louis Jadot, Burgundy

15,59

32

2000

Puligny Montrachet "Clavoillons", Domaine Leflaive

15,32

33

1999

Chardonnay Tiers, Petaluma; Australia

14,87

34

1996

Chevalier Montrachet, Etienne Sauzet, Burgundy

14,87

35

1992

Chassagne-Montrachet "La Boudriotte", Ramonet

14,84

1995

Grüner Veltliner "Honivogl" Smaragd Magnum, Hirtzberger, Austria

Cork!

Tasting Panel

  • Tim Atkin, Harpers
  • John Avery, Averys of Bristol
  • Bill Baker, Reid Wines and Conran restaurants
  • Stephen Browett, Farr Vintners
  • Richard Ehrlich, Independent on Sunday
  • Brett Fleming, BRL Hardy
  • Matthew Jukes, Daily Mail and Bibendum restaurant
  • Martin Lam, Ransome´s Dock restaurant
  • Jason McAuliffe, Sommelier, Chez Bruze
  • Steve Pannell, BRL Hardy
  • Jan-Erik Paulson, Paulson Rare Wine
  • Jancis Robinson, Journalist, Financial Times
  • Gordon Roddick, The Body Shop and vigneron
  • Anthony Rose, The Independent
  • Hugo Rose, Lay & Wheeler
  • Steven Spurrier, Decanter
  • Charles Taylor, Charles Taylor Wines
  • Simon Woods, free lance

Download

For further information please contact:
Austrian Wine Marketing Board
Susanne Staggl
T: +43 1 503 92 67
F: +43 1 503 92 68
E: info@austrianwine.com