Braunstein Goldberg St.Laurent 2003, 750 mlfrom Braunstein (View all)
St.Laurent is a red wine grape which is something along the lines of a Pinot Noir with a wild side. A notoriously difficult vine to cultivate, the quality of a St.Laurent wine can tell you a lot about the talents of a winemaker- and in the case of Birgit Braunstein, talent abounds. She describes the wine as being juicy, dense and elegant all at the same time, with ripe notes of wild cherries, along with other black skinned berry notes. It spent 9 months in oak barrique, and this aging helped the wine to find its balanced body.
|Falstaff Wine Guide||90 - “Powerful ruby/garnet and soft purple color. Aromas of subtle leaf notes, dark berry fruit, a little cherry and wood. Firm structure. The tannins are still a bit strict, but promising.”|
|Bottle size (ml)||750 ml|
|Residual Sugar||1.4 g/l|
|Cellar potential||Optimal 2005-2013|
Birgit Braunstein is one of only a handful of female vintners in Austria, but that's not what makes her wines so good.
The Braunstein family has been cultivating their estate in the town of Purbach for 400 years, but that's not what makes their wine so good.
The Braunstein vineyards cover 49 acres on the slopes of the Leithaberg, a small but important mountain range which separates two different agricultural and climate zones in Eastern Austria, but that's not why the wines are good either.
Why are the Braunstein wines so good? Certainly it is all of those things combined, and Birgit herself has said that 90% of a wine depends upon what has gone down in the vineyard, and the remaining 10% is down to what takes place in the cellar, and even though it all adds up on paper, there is still something more which ends up in the bottle.
Take her Oxhoft Chardonnay. It is, literally, world class: taking the silver medal at the 1999 Chardonnay-du-Monde competition. Of course she has her particular production methods (strict temperature control, small barriques, no filtration), but it's her winning combination of tradition with modern techniques that is evident in every one of the 5000 cases produced yearly. In fact, she was named Female Vintner of the Year in 2004 by the influential Austrian food and wine guide "Wo Isst Osterreich?".
So what is it then that sets her wines apart? That's the lovely mystery which no math can solve. So stop adding it up, open up a bottle, and enjoy a vintage of her outstanding Oxhoft Chardonnay or one of her beautifully crafted, elegant red wines.
The west side of the lake... The Austrian wine establishment has now begun to call this region Leithaberg, after the local hillsides themselves, although it is hard to imagine winegrowing in this region without the benificent influence of the lake. The free city of Rust has been famous for its sweet wines for centuries, now producing memorable reds and dry whites as well. The towns of St Margarethen, Donnerskirchen and Grosshöflein are all proving to be sources of excellent grapes from the varieties Blaufränkisch and St Laurent, as well as for the more surprising Sauvignon Blanc. The major municipality Eisenstadt is the capital of Burgenland; the area has been settled since the early Iron Age, and evidence of viticulture exists in Celtic hill burials from nearly three thousand years ago.