Austria's Rieslings Again on Top!

February 23, 2011 - British sommelier and wine journalist Robert Giorgione, together with several of his professional wine colleagues from Great Britain, tasted and judged 75 Rieslings from around the world. The winner: Austria! And 3rd place: Austria, again! With these outstanding results, Austria's Rieslings yet again live up to their world-class status.

Single vineyard site Gaisberg, © AWMB / Himml
Single vineyard site Gaisberg, © AWMB / Himml

Robert Giorgione, a British sommelier, wine journalist and consultant as well as former wine buyer, organized a Riesling tasting with 75 wines from France (9), Luxembourg (1), Germany (14), Italy (1), USA (2), Australia (17), New Zealand (21), Chile (1) and Austria (9). In this blind tasting, wines from the northern hemisphere were tasted first; then southern hemisphere wines followed. The tasting panel was comprised of 38 specialists, including several Masters of Wine, wine journalists and sommeliers. The wine capturing the top spot was the Riesling Gaisberg 2004 from the Hirsch estate in Austria's Kamptal wine-growing area. In 2nd place was the Riesling “Scharzhof” from the renowned Egon Müller estate in Germany. And in 3rd place was another Austrian wine, the Riesling Smaragd “Steinriegel” 2007 from the Prager estate in the Wachau. As of this writing, further rankings have not yet been released.

One of the tasters, the highly respected British wine writer, Tim Atkin MW, was particularly enthusiastic about the Austrian Rieslings: “My top wines were the 2004 “Gaisberg“ from Hirsch, Kamptal, and 2007 “Steinriegel“ Smaragd from Prager - both from Austria. For me, Austrian Rieslings showed the best during the tasting and displayed the most character.”