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.

Hohereck Gruner Veltliner

Weingut Tegernseerhof - 2017 Grüner Veltliner, Hohereck, Smaragd

Price: $47.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

24+ in stock

Type of Wine: White
Grape(s): Grüner Veltliner
Style: Mineral, Rustic

The Wine

Planted in 1951, Ried Höhereck is the godfather of the Veltliners in Tegernseerhof's range, and his monopole (exclusive) site. Martin says that more important than the soil (a rare Gruner Veltliner planted almost exclusively on the acidic metamorphic rock, gneiss, rather than the sandy, nutrient rich loess, which is typical for this variety), exposition (southeast and in a ravine with great access to mountain winds and an early sunset), or anything else this wine has to offer is its genetic heritage. This half-hectare (1.25 acre) vineyard has been a growing field for centuries for Gruner Veltliner clones of ancient origins, thus contributing to the complexity of this wine and Martin's entire range of Gruner Veltliners.

This dynamic wine shows great restraint when expressing its soft aromas of white pepper, sweet greens, white fruit and lime with the fresh scent of earth and river rocks following rain on a hot summer day. Perhaps the top Veltliner from Mittelbach, this is not a wine to drink quickly without taking note of its impressive charming and precise nuances of yellow and white peach, cherimoya, lemon curd, baking spices and bright green herbs. It finds many layers of unexpected depth as it opens in the glass over time, so patience brings great reward with this gem!

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: There are many factors that influence the dynamic expression of Ried Höhereck. It’s one of the rare examples of Grüner Veltliner completely planted on the acidic metamorphic rock, orthogneiss—Grüner Veltliner is more typically planted on loess. Coupled with its steep southeastern exposition, early sunsets and close proximity to a ravine that increases its access to cold Waldviertel winds, its dramatic shift between day and nighttime temperatures bring great potential for added layers of depth. Another contributing element is that this site is home to the Grüner Veltliner parent material for most of Tegernseerhof’s masale selections. For centuries it has been a growing field for ancient clones, furthering the unique complexity of this wine and their entire range of their Grüner Veltliners.

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:

Savory, Spice, Dried Herbs, Honey, Mineral, White Fruit, Full-Bodied, Glycerol

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

Finish:

FrontMiddleBack

Wood Presence:

NoneSubtleNoticeable

The Vineyard

Soil:

Principally grown on orthogneiss bedrock and to a lesser degree a subvolcanic rock, called aplite (ref: Vinea-Wachau.at). The topsoil consists of decomposed bedrock with sandy stony grain.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Planted in 1951

Altitude (meters):

207-315

Aspect:

South East/East

Slope:

Extremely Steep (up to 81%)
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide. Yeast (please read the vinification).

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

13 - 14

Titratable Acidity:

4.5-5.5

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

Planted in 1951, Ried Höhereck is the godfather of the Veltliners in Tegernseerhof’s range, and his monopole (exclusive) site. Martin says that more important than the soil (a rare Gruner Veltliner planted almost exclusively on the acidic metamorphic rock, gneiss, rather than the sandy, nutrient rich loess, which is typical for this variety), exposition (southeast and in a ravine with great access to mountain winds and an early sunset), or anything else this wine has to offer is its genetic heritage. This half-hectare (1.25 acre) vineyard has been a growing field for centuries for Gruner Veltliner clones of ancient origins, thus contributing to the complexity of this wine and Martin’s entire range of Gruner Veltliners.

This dynamic wine shows great restraint when expressing its soft aromas of white pepper, sweet greens, white fruit and lime with the fresh scent of earth and river rocks following rain on a hot summer day. Perhaps the top Veltliner from Mittelbach, this is not a wine to drink quickly without taking note of its impressive charming and precise nuances of yellow and white peach, cherimoya, lemon curd, baking spices and bright green herbs. It finds many layers of unexpected depth as it opens in the glass over time, so patience brings great reward with this gem!