Barbara Ohlzelt, Gruner Leader 1L 2019
Barbara Öhlzelt is turning the region’s paradigm completely on its head. Instead of the unctuous, powerful and masculine wines of the famous large estates, Barbara’s wines emphasize focus and a quiet, simmering intensity. They are fine, clearly delineated, precisely-etched renditions of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling with just as much depth and persistence as the big boys, but on a lighter, more refreshing frame. They really are like the wines of Weiser-Künstler, but translated into the dialect of the Kamptal – loess, granite and sandstone, rather than slate. It should go without saying, but of course the wines are loaded with mouth-watering acidity and the alcohol levels are carefully restrained. Barbara is soft-spoken but intense; the wines are not unlike their shepherd. These are racy, delicate wines of purity and energy, and are exactly what the next chapter in the story of Austrian wine should be.
The Grüner Leader is from a combination of all of Barbara’s Grüner vineyards with an average vine age of 30 years.