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Austrian Riesling Triumphs at International Tasting Eight out of the Panel’s Top Fourteen Rieslings Austrian

London’s fashionable Groucho Club is becoming an important place for Austrian wines. Already in 2002, a celebrated blind tasting pitched great Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay against some of the world’s top Chardonnays, with the stunning result that Austria’s national varietal swept the board. On 11 October, 2004, the experiment was repeated, this time with Riesling.

This picture shows a Riesling grape
AWMB / Oberleithner

Chosen once more by wine writer Jancis Robinson and wine dealer and collector Jan Erik Paulson, thirty-six Rieslings from Austria, Germany, France and Australia were tasted. The invited panel consisted of sommeliers, journalists, and wine dealers from the UK and abroad, and the tasting was conducted blind, in six flights ordered by vintage, ranging from 1990 to 2002.

When the results were announced, Austria was the clear winner of the event: eight of the top fourteen wines chosen by the professional panel were Austrian, beating some of the greatest traditional producers of the grape, such as H. Dönnhoff, Zind Humbrecht, and Trimbach. Jancis Robinson, a long-time fan of great Austrian wines, was not surprised by the result: “I was determined that the Austrian candidates would be set against the finest dry Rieslings I could think of,” she explained in her column in the Financial Times. ”What the group liked best was… Austrian Riesling… Eight of the group's top 14 wines were from Austria.”

“For Austria, this is one more reward for years of dedication and enormous attention to detail in making true terroir wine,” comments Michael Thurner, Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. “It is no longer a secret that our wines are among the greatest of the world and can be found on wine lists form Tokyo to New York and from Paris to Melbourne, but it is fantastic to gain this sign of recognition from some of the world’s most demanding palates, and to get an opportunity of showing that our wines perform wonderfully vintage after vintage.”

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