The Kamptal is one of Austria’s most successful white wine regions and centered around Langenlois, the largest Austrian wine-growing municipality. Named after the river Kamp, a left tributary of the Danube, the Kamptal has earned itself an international reputation for outstanding Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. The Kamptal has a vineyard area of more than 3.800 hectares with a terroir that ranges from volcanic soil to loess, and bedrock and is more than 200.000.000 years old. For more background information I recommend you watch the following short YouTube video, which promotes the wine region (the video might not work on Safari).
If you watched the video, you probably heard that the region is also known for good red wines – I’m of a different opinion here and would not consider the Kamptal a high-quality red wine region. Why? Most of the red wines from the Kamptal I tried were dominated by a strong acidity and lacked complexity. Just like Germany, Austria remains a white wine country from me – but the quality of Austrian red wine is slowly improving. So we’ll quickly change the topic back to white wines.
In the early 2000s, Austria reformed its wine classification system and introduced the DAC system. DAC stands for the latin term Districtus Austriae Controllatus. Before the reformation, Austria only had three official tiers of wines. Landwein (table wine), Qualitätswein and Prädikatswein. The system was very similar to the confusing German wine classification system, which is based around the grape ripeness and must weight. While the old system is still in place, the DAC system is not based around grape ripeness anymore but around a region’s typicity. The new system is much more similar to the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese wine classification systems and is in general considered more consumer friendly.
The Kamptal DAC regulations only permit the use of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. Two styles exist: Klassik and Reserve. Klassik stands for lighter, fruiter wines whereas the title Reserve is given to more rich, powerful wines.
Even though Italy is my favorite wine country I tend to drink a good amount of German and Austrian white wine during – especially during summer. One of favorite spring and summer white wines is Grüner Veltliner and today I will write about a Grüner Veltliner that has never disappointed me. The following picture shows vineyards near Langenlois. In the background you can see the famous loess terraces.
2013 Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg – Lössterrassen Grüner Veltliner
Schloss Gobelsburg, a wonderful castle, was constructed in 1725 but Cistercian monks began planting vines around Schloss Gobelsburg in the 12th century and constructed the magnificent wine cellar, which is still used in present day. In 1740 the castle was bought by the Zwettl Abbey but in the mid 1990s a private investor bought the winery. Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg owns 39 hectares of vineyards and roughly 75% of their grapes are white. It is located in the town of Gobelsburg, which is situated along the wine route Weinstraße Niederösterreich – one of the longest in the world with a length of over 830 kilometers.
Gobelsburger Lössterrassen Grüner Veltliner is produced with 100% Grüner Veltliner and after a brief fermentation the wine aged for a few months in stainless steel vats. The grapes are planted on loess terraces in the Kamptal region (the wine’s German name Lössterrassen actually translates to loess terraces). Loess terraces can be seen pretty much everywhere in the region. These terraces are very fertile and were formed by the Danube and the Kamp millions of years ago. In present day, they form the cornerstone of the Kamptal.
In the glass, Gobelsburger Lössterrassen had a pale green-yellow color. 12% was the label listed alcohol by volume.
The bouquet was composed of aromas of black pepper, rocks, rhubarb and apple.
After taking a sip, I tasted freshly squeezed lemon juice. The wine had a light body, was clear, very crisp and refreshing, and a little salty. High minerality, which comes from the loess. The acidity was a bit metallic, which is quite common with Grüner Veltliner. Medium-long finish.
It’s A Summer Wine!
In Munich summer has arrived early this year. Today the sun was shining all day long and for Thursday the weather was forceasted with temperatures above 28°C (82°F). Why am I telling you this? Because the Gobelsburger Lössterrassen is the perfect white wine for these temperatures. It’s light and refreshing and the ideal wine to start the evening. I best enjoy it in the late afternoon with a few olives, anchovies and some white bread. It pairs also well with oysters.
Most wine stores over here sell a bottle of 2013 Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Lössterrassen Grüner Veltliner sells for a little under €10. Find this wine on Wine Searcher.
That’s all for today. Cheers!