Weingut Tegernseerhof

The Story

Martin Mittelbach is a Wachau insider with an outsider’s perspective. He is the fifth generation of Mittelbachs to run the historical Tegernseerhof, an estate that goes further back than 1000 years. Despite the estate’s historical merit you couldn’t find a much more progressive winemaker with his own set of standards and way of thinking in this region. Martin took over the estate at a very young age and immediately changed the way things were done. As you could imagine, there was some friction with his father who preferred to make wines more on the sweeter side. Today, you would be hard pressed to find a more dry and straight style in the Wachau. The grapes are harvested and sorted rigorously to take out any botrytis grapes and then vinified and raised in stainless steel. They are harvested with no botrytis to keep the wines focused and tense. His wines are like his personality: intense, focused and highly intellectual. These laser beams are as far away from the often baroque style that can be found in this region. In every level his wines excel and can stand tall next to any of the greatest producers in Austria.

Lay of the Land

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Austria’s Wachau gorge is home to arguably the most prestigious winegrowing region in the country, and its most visually stunning. The eastern border is west of Vienna by about an hour drive and begins in a town called Unterloiben. It runs through the river gorge thirteen or so kilometers ending in Spitz, a town that marks the far western end of the winegrowing areas along the river.

Though one of the coolest winegrowing regions in Austria (not only in temperature, but also in vibe), the Wachau is located in an area strongly affected by opposing climatic influences. Warm Pannonian winds move in from the east and collide with colder Atlantic and Alpine winds insulated by the wilderness surrounding the gorge, which creates a tug-of-war of extremes between day and nighttime temperatures during the summer and fall. Much less than in the past, before the hydroelectric dams were installed and slowed its vigorous pace, the Danube River regulates temperatures and mitigates some risk of spring frost. Tegernseerhof’s vineyards are all located on the far eastern end of the Wachau gorge in its most warm zone, however still considered a cold climate wine region.

On the steeply terraced hills principally composed of Gföhler gneiss (orthogneiss) and other ancient igneous and metamorphic bedrock formations with a thin, gravelly decomposition of the bedrock itself is the kind of stressful environment where Riesling thrives best. By contrast, Austria’s most popular (and common) white wine grape, Gruner Veltliner, typically grows lower down the slopes on more löss (also spelled loess, or löess) dominated soils mixed with river sand and alluvium. Grüner Veltliner needs to be coddled to find its glory, and the nutrient rich and high water retentive qualities of löss are perfect.

Loibenberg Riesling
Loibenberg Riesling

Weingut Tegernseerhof - 2013 Riesling, “Loibenberg” Smaragd

Price: $38.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

5 in stock

Type of Wine: White
Grape(s): Riesling
Style: Mineral, Medium Body

The Wine

Inside the bottle: In the range of Martin's Smaragd rieslings this wine is the most delicate and refreshing. It comes from one of the most warm sites in the Wachau (which is still much cooler than most parts of Austria's wine regions) and is often the first to be picked within the Smaragd rieslings. The numerous parcels that are scattered over this large hill give the wine a great balance of characters from sweet meyer lemon notes to the first pick of yellow stone fruits in early summer. The wine has a wonderfully refreshing spring-like feel that is decorated with flowers, acacia honey and the first grasses of spring. Indeed, spring and summer nuances are what this wine is all about.
The wine's earth impressions are as big of a part of this wine as the fruit, and Martin prides himself in the savory and subtle nature of his wines. Oh yes, there is much more than a small dose of minerality as well. Out of the glass, the wine leads with the impressions of river stone and freshly scratched metal, you know, like your carbon steel knife after a good scrubbing. It is a beautiful wine that is refreshingly delicate for a Smaragd and is loaded with plenty of brain to keep us wine geeks transfixed.

Terroir: The picturesque Loibenberg hill dominates the eastern entry into the Wachau. Its steeply terraced slopes have pockets of loess (a fine-grained sand-like soil) scattered in the lower areas and upper sections that are dominated by the primary rock, gneiss. This acidic and ancient rock alongside of the sun-rich, south-facing slopes give these wines their powerful framework. The steepness of the terraces, coupled with gneiss, also give necessary stress that riesling vines need to yield world class fruit.

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: The 30 hectares of vines on this mountain located in the eastern section of the Wachau are exposed to a Pannonian climate that leaves its signature on the wines of these vineyards. Despite this the warmth is moderated by vast differences in altitude. 200 vertical meters separate the Danube and the border of the forest at 420 meters. The steep terraces of Gfoehler gneiss and loess combine with the climate for a large versatility in wine styles. Loibenberg faces mainly south and marks the entrance of the Wachau Gorge. Fuller bodied Smaragd wines are generally sourced from the lower terraces and are harvested slightly earlier than much of the rest of the Wachau. On Loibenberg, the Riesling vines are located further up the hill and mostly on stony gneiss soils, while Grüner Veltliner is more favorable in the deeper rich loess soils lower on the slope.

Vinification: Grapes are harvested by hand in small bins. They are whole cluster macerated between 6-36 hours depending on the vintage (higher acid vintages longer, warm years less). The first sulfur addition rarely happens before fermentation but is dependent on the quality of the fruit—perfect fruit may not be sulfured until after primary fermentation. On average about 2/3 of the fermentation is natural and about 1/3 neutral yeasts (used if not naturally started after 10-12 days). Primary fermentation lasts between 1-2 months and is kept below 23 degrees C. The wines sometimes make natural malolactic fermentation.

Aging: Stainless steel for 6-9 months on the lees, filtered but not fined before bottling.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

Mineral, Elegant, Salty, Stone Fruit, High-Toned

Mineral Impressions:

Lightly SaltySaltyMetalMineralWet StoneFlintGraphiteReductivePetrol

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

Intensity:

SubtleVigorousElectric

Core:

LitheMediumDense

Acidity:

LightMediumFullElectric

Texture:

LitheMediumDense

Body:

LightMediumFull

Tannin:

NoneLightMediumFull

Wood Presence:

NoneSubtleNoticeable

The Vineyard

Soil:

Gfoehler gneiss (orthogneiss; metamorphosed granite) bedrock and decomposed gneiss topsoil mixed with loess. Loess in Austria normally contains calcium carbonate but according to the Vinea Wachau’s geological research, much of it on Loibenberg has been decalcified by erosion; perhaps there are other sites within the Wachau that are the same.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

15-50 years old (2019)

Altitude (meters):

213-396

Aspect:

South

Slope:

Extremely Steep (up to 77%)
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide. Yeast (please read the vinification).

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12.5-13.5

Titratable Acidity:

6.5-7.0

Residual Sugar:

>3

Notes compiled in 2019 by Ted Vance (The Source) and Martin Mittelbach (Tegernseerhof) with some technical details from Vinea-Wachau.at

About The Wine

Inside the bottle: In the range of Martin’s Smaragd rieslings this wine is the most delicate and refreshing. It comes from one of the most warm sites in the Wachau (which is still much cooler than most parts of Austria’s wine regions) and is often the first to be picked within the Smaragd rieslings. The numerous parcels that are scattered over this large hill give the wine a great balance of characters from sweet meyer lemon notes to the first pick of yellow stone fruits in early summer. The wine has a wonderfully refreshing spring-like feel that is decorated with flowers, acacia honey and the first grasses of spring. Indeed, spring and summer nuances are what this wine is all about.
The wine’s earth impressions are as big of a part of this wine as the fruit, and Martin prides himself in the savory and subtle nature of his wines. Oh yes, there is much more than a small dose of minerality as well. Out of the glass, the wine leads with the impressions of river stone and freshly scratched metal, you know, like your carbon steel knife after a good scrubbing. It is a beautiful wine that is refreshingly delicate for a Smaragd and is loaded with plenty of brain to keep us wine geeks transfixed.

Terroir: The picturesque Loibenberg hill dominates the eastern entry into the Wachau. Its steeply terraced slopes have pockets of loess (a fine-grained sand-like soil) scattered in the lower areas and upper sections that are dominated by the primary rock, gneiss. This acidic and ancient rock alongside of the sun-rich, south-facing slopes give these wines their powerful framework. The steepness of the terraces, coupled with gneiss, also give necessary stress that riesling vines need to yield world class fruit.