Gumpoldskirchen is small town to the south west of Vienna; the light soil at the foot of the limestone Anniger mountain (675 m.) of the Wiener Wald, but above the dark red soil of alluvial plain, has been yielding quality wines since Roman times. Production today is by a number of relatively small vineyards with varietals that are distinctive from the ubiquitous (in Austria) Grüner Veltliner. Austrian vine varietals are different and distinct from the French varietals largely because of the longstanding political separation of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire and the Burgundian kings, Napoleonic Empire and French Republic and, before that, the Papal Schism.
Walking around the vineyards, now in late April beginning to come in to leaf, it is striking how much other vegetation is tolerated. There are dandelions in flower and going to seed and small “weeds” with white flowers. I’m guessing these are tolerated for a combination of reasons including protecting the soil against erosion and maintaining the soil chemistry. The vines seem to be mostly quite young. Note the red tips of the vines in one photo and the gradient at the top of the vineyard near Schloss Gumpoldskirchen, now a hotel.
These days, you can buy Gumpoldskirchen wines on a wine list in Vienna or direct from the vineyard or enjoy them in one of the town’s many hostelleries who are either tied houses (owned by the vineyard) or buy direct from the local producers. My friend Wolf is a regular at the Fassbinderhof weinrestaurant in Gumpoldskirchen; we have enjoyed working our way through some of their list, using his usual Gemischter Satz 2016 as a reference.
Rotgipfler is the signature wine of Gumpoldskirchen. Many vineyards have their own sub-varietal which has been developed over the years.
Light straw colour more yellow than lime
Distinctive citrus fragrance (nose)
Balanced mildly acidic, fruity (apricots), honey and mildly oaked
Long and pleasant after-taste
Medium dry (halbtrocken)
Gemischter Satz 2016
Not dry like a Chardonnay
No perceptible oak
Very pleasant but much less distinctive than Rotgipfler 2016
Tasted with a local cheese pastry.
St. Laurent 2017
Asparagus has come in to season locally so we enjoyed an Asparagus risotto with some red wine. St. Laurent is a Czech varietal.
Ruby red colour
Sweet nose indicating red berries
Not tannic at all
Full red taste but slightly bitter almost anchovy or peppery
Zierfandler 2006 Auslese
This is an Auslese so quite sweet (RZ 26 g/l, sugar content)
Green golden look
Quite heavy on the tongue
Actually didn't taste as sweet as I had expected, so tasting less sweet than the equivalent Auslese from the Rhein or Mosel, or a Sauternes.
We enjoyed this with chef Oma’s Topfen–Strudel
Next evening, still comparing against Gemischter Satz 2016
Fruity full taste. Slight tang. And slight nutty as expected. Spicy after-taste, particularly at front of tongue
Neuburger 2017 compared to Gemischter Satz 2016 ,akes the latter as lemony rather than neutral as it was compared to the Rotgipfler 2016
To me, not meaning to be pretentious, but having been staying in the area and hiking here, the Neuburger 2017 speaks clearly of the local terroir, the local herbs at the sides of the patch and in the forest.
Zweigelt 2016 rose
Light colour: yellow straw and pink
Not much nose
Very light in the mouth. Light pear or even rose petal.
We enjoyed this with roast pork and crackling.
Zierfandler 2006 Auslese
The same choice as previously but tasting comparatively thin with chef Oma’s Apfelstrudel. Note 2006 is fairly young for an Auslese.
I rather enjoyed tasting the wines of Gumpoldskirchen; the varietals are new to me and it was a surprise how much variety has been found compared to the Grüner Veltliner which is ubiquitous in Austria.