Even in more difficult years, the Kamptal shows that it is one of Austria's strongest growing regions in terms of quality, as we saw impressively just last year. The difference to the really good vintages is therefore not particularly noticeable at first glance, but it does show in the details. Even the smaller wines and those from the less prominent grape varieties and the cellars of unknown producers are then usually of striking quality. This was also the case in 2015. Among the 150 or so wines we tasted this year, there was not a single really weak wine. Since we have probably already written everything important about the Kamptal as a wine region several times, this year we present the winegrowers in detail who submitted samples for the current tasting.
Michaela Haas is one of the best winemakers in Austria. Her wines, which are seldom completely dry, have gained in fineness and character in recent years and are always developing well. In addition to Riesling and Veltliner, the Burgundy varieties in particular always stand out positively.
Great, old and probably the most famous winery in the Kamptal, whose leading position was for a while not as clear as its reputation suggested. But after this interim phase, the organic winery is perhaps stronger today than ever. The best wines are of tremendous concentration and depth, yet remain highly refined, rather moderate in alcohol and without any heaviness. Riesling and Veltliner are among the absolute top in Austria - and thus worldwide. The current range is possibly the best we have ever experienced here. Red wines and sparkling wines are also recommendable.
Above all, Alfred Deim's quite juicy Veltliners always catch the eye in a very positive way and, like almost all wines from this old winery, are priced in a rather consumer-friendly way. This year there is also a melting Pinot Blanc as well as a slightly marbled but surprisingly successful Pinot Noir.
From Dolle come sometimes straightforward, sometimes powerful, not always completely dry wines, which are generally accessible young, but can usually also mature for some time. From a very good range of 15, the "normal" Gaisberg Riesling stands out once again, while the "Privat", which is ranked much higher in the house hierarchy, seems almost a little too powerful.
In general, Grillmaier's wines are carefully made and easy to drink, even if they are a bit simple at times. However, some wines stand out, such as this year's tart, juicy and finely spicy Reserve-Veltliner from the Steinhaus.
Ludwig Hiedler not only produces excellent Veltliners and Rieslings, he is also one of the best Weissburgunder producers around. The wines are rather strong and seem noticeably softer and often warmer than those of the other top Kamptal wineries. Especially when they are young, they are often a little buttery. Those who believe that they would develop less well because of this could not be more wrong: Hiedler's wines often only show what they are really capable of after a few years and are among the longest-lived wines in the area.
First-class Kamptal winery that has undergone a radical change of style in recent years under Stefanie and Alwin Jurtschitsch. The wines are now among the most elegant in the area, are taut, cool and complex, but need attention to show what they are made of.
Quite old, very reliable winery that is not yet as well known outside the region as it deserves due to its consistently good to excellent qualities - especially since the wines are mostly priced very consumer-friendly. Besides the leading varieties, Pinot Noir or Sauvignon can also turn out very pleasing.
Large, modernly run winery whose wines are always very carefully made, but sometimes turn out a bit slippery. They are meant to be flagships for Grüner Veltliner all over the world and to win as many friends as possible for the variety with their accessible, mostly uncomplicated style. Laurenz Maria Moser V. shows that he can do otherwise with his firm, multi-layered and characterful "Four" from the Zöbinger Gaisberg.
Biodynamically cultivated top winery, whose slowly developing, tart Rieslings and Veltliners with a strong character are better today than ever. The Pinots can also be excellent.
Traditional winery with consistently very good, often first-class, concentrated, multi-layered wines full of character, which can develop excellently over years. Especially the reserves from old vines regularly belong to the top of the region.
Ancient winery owned by the Zwettl monastery, which under the management of Michael Moosbrugger and with the support of Willi Bründelmayer, produces first-class, extremely brilliant Rieslings and Veltliners that cannot be beaten in the region for finesse and must be counted among the best in all of Austria every year. The wide range of red reserve wines from various local and French varieties is also of a high standard.
For the first time, the Schmid Winery presented wines to us this year. The Pinot Noir and the sweetish Pinot Blanc are simple but clean, the successful reserves of Riesling and Veltliner arouse curiosity.
This modern winery is known for its mostly strong, rather early accessible sweet-melting and juicy Veltliners and Rieslings as well as for its predominantly fruit-driven, except for the Burgundy Cuvée, single-varietal sparkling wines from always carefully selected, recognisably ripe and juicy raw material, which enjoy great popularity.
The 2015 range is undoubtedly the best that Reinhard and Markus Waldschütz have presented to us so far. The top Veltliners "Rosengarten Reserve" and "Steinvision" stand out once again and are among the best in the area this year, but the slightly rustic Rieslings and Sauvignon Blanc are also impressive.
Very reliable winery, which already surprised last year by coping so well with the difficult vintage. The positive trend is confirmed this year thanks to a flawless Riesling and Veltliner series from which every wine can be recommended.