Gritsch Mauritiushof 1000-Eimerberg Neuburger Select 2003, 750 mlfrom Gritsch Mauritiushof (View all)
“The Neuburger grape is a very old traditional Austrian variety. This wine, from our 1000-Eimerberg vineyard, is half-dry with more than 9 grams of sugar [9 g/l residual]. A ‘Smaragd’ wine can have up to 9 g/l, but the acid can’t be less by more than two units. This wine has 6 g/l acidity and therefore cannot be labeled Smaragd. However, we wanted an off-dry wine in our line because a lot of people like that. This Neuburger has exotic fruit and a creamy texture. Only a small amount is available: about 1500 bottles. We harvested in the beginning of November from vines planted 50 years ago by my grandfather.” -Vintner Franz Josef Gritsch
|Wine Enthusiast||88 - “Neuburger is the grape variety, a cross between Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Sylvaner. The result is a richly textured white with lovely floral notes on the nose and flavors of honey, ripe peaches and citrus. Finishes soft, with hints of dried spices.”|
|Falstaff Wine Guide||86|
|Wine Plus||82-84 - “Very good. Fruity nose with delicate nut, pear, a little banana and hazelnut. Deliciously structured on the palate, sweet due to high extracts, spicy and full-bodied but the acidity is a little too racy in the finish. Is likely to harmonize with time, has to be tasted again in a while. Preliminary score, probably best from 2006 to 2010.”|
|Bottle size (ml)||750 ml|
|Residual Sugar||9.2 g/l|
|Wine style||Off Dry|
Winery Gritsch Mauritiushof, located in the Wachau region of Austria, is named for the family Gritsch who now own the property and for the beautiful old building there called “Mauritiushof.” This house stands in the heart of the town of Spitz and dates back to the 13th century when it was used by monks to collect the local grapes. We can’t tell you when the monks moved out (perhaps during one of the Turkish campaigns of 1529 or 1683?) but we can tell you that the Gritsch family arrived in 1799 and began pressing those grapes into wine.
Franz-Josef Gritsch is taking over the helm from his father after having attended the famous wine-school in Krems and then working some years at the winery of Josef Leberl. He is now at the ripe old age of 25 and his production of 20-to-30,000 bottles sells out every year.
The wine is harvested manually in several phases beginning in October and running right through November. Pure yeast cultures are added to the juice to support the fermentation, which happens in steel tanks. The wine is then aged in barrels until bottling starts, usually by the beginning of May. Franz-Josef tries to keep the process as natural as possible in order to obtain a fresh and fruity character. This is, he says, of “utmost importance.”
“The credo of our winemaking is the constant search for the best quality. To be a winemaker in this unique landscape has a strong heritage, and is a great challenge.”
The Wachau is one of 8 "sub-areas" in Lower Austria. The other 7 are Kremstal, Kamptal, Danubelands, Traisental, Carnuntum, Weinvertel, and Thermenregion. Calling this region "lower Austria" may seem counter-intuitive to most. The four main wine regions of Austria are all in the eastern half of the country, and lower Austria is the northernmost. One generally equates "North" with "upper", but not here. The explanation given is that it has to do with altitude and not latitude. Of course, while it is at a lower altitude than Styria and Vienna, it is not as low as Burgenland. Go figure.
The Wachau is perhaps the best known of the 8 sub-regions. There are 3500 acres of vines, mostly Gr?ner Veltliner and Riesling, planted in a soil of weathered primary rock, granite and slate on the steeply terraced vineyards above and sand and loess on the slope of the hills below. The area also grows Neuburger, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, M?ller-Thurgau and Chardonnay. The regional association "Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus" acts as a kind of DOC police for this area, labeling the wines under three classifications: Steinfeder (light, young and racy), Federspiel (elegant and with body), and Smaragd (very ripe and powerful). "Smaragd" literally means emerald, and is a reference to the color of the small lizards that run amok in the vines here. For more specifics on these classifications, see types of wines.
The Wachau's proximity to the Danube, which winds lazily past like some great fat serpent, adds to the amazing beauty of this place. In the spring the steep rising hills are a lush bright green and the apricot trees blossom madly. In the fall these hills seem almost ablaze with the turning leaves of the vineyards.