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Brundlmayer Riesling Zobinger Heiligenstein Alte Reben 2015

Brundlmayer Riesling Zobinger Heiligenstein Alte Reben 2015

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"Floral perfume and cooling herbal aromas suggest an expansive, highly diverse meadow. Luscious peach and seductive inner-mouth perfume saturate the palate in a luxuriant but at the same time bright and energetic performance. A tingling, crystalline mineral shower like that administered in the finish of this year’s “regular” Heiligenstein bottling is invigoratingly augmented by zesty lime, incisive white pepper, pungent struck flint and piquant peach kernel. It should be fascinating to track this wine’s evolution in tandem with that of its younger-vines sibling. For now, the old-vines rendition has the edge in minerality and sheer intensity, but the lift, floral persistence and mouthwatering salinity of the “regular” bottling are irresistible. Drinking window: 2017-2028. 93-94 points

Willi Bründlmayer and his team harvested from mid-September until the first of November 2015 – this estate’s earliest completion in his memory – and managed to capture a fine range of styles, from genuinely light yet not underripe through generously and richly vintage-typical yet animating, sharply focused, and transparent to nuance. When rain arrived in the second week of October, reported Bründlmayer, his fruit was already sufficiently ripe that the stems had lignified, thus preventing rainwater from swelling the grapes. The chilly nights that accompanied this precipitation would in themselves have sufficed to keep any botrytis at bay, in contrast with sometimes tricky circumstances in Kamptal vineyards late in the generally outstanding 2013 growing season, when selective removal of botrytis bunches resulted in a range of nobly sweet wines (of which those not already reviewed in my report focused on that vintage are now reviewed below). In a few instances, Bründlmayer reported extra concentration having been lent certain 2015s by some berry-shriveling, but not from botrytis. The single-vineyard wines, Grüner Veltliner as well as Riesling, all managed to stay under 14 percent alcohol. In an effort to achieve structure and rich phenolics without courting bitterness, an especially gentle and long pressing of exclusively of whole clusters was favored.

It’s worth noting that even as Bründlmayer continues to set aside a modest share of many bottlings for subsequent re-releases – which, he reports, are largely of interest to his American and other foreign clients, not to his countrymen – US importer Terry Theise has increasingly taken to offering a spread of recent vintages and delaying stateside release of some top wines from the most recent harvest. Impressive though Bründlmayer’s 2015s are, there is thus absolutely no excuse for failing to stock up on this estate’s many exciting 2013s and 2014s. Among the latter, do not miss the sensational Steinmassl Reserve Riesling, a wine I so underestimated when initially reviewing it that I have had to publish below what must read like a mea culpa. Also apropos of delayed release, with Käferberg and Alte Reben Grüner Veltliner, Bründlmayer has begun returning up to half of the final assemblage to cask for an additional year. So an already copious and always intriguing range of wines will soon become yet more extensive and fascinating."

David Schilknecht, Vinous (02/17)