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Weingut Glatzer

Tasting Year



2021 Zweigelt (Carnuntum DAC)                                    glug-glug-glug!

There are many ways to do a basic Zweigelt, and Glatzer’s is usually the most purely and addictively fruity. In contrast, Gobelsburg’s and Setzer’s are more Claret-like, and even the fruit-forward Sattler is “warmer” in its profile. At times, whether due to the vintage or to Glatzer’s wish to make more “serious” wines, this gorgeous being has flirted with earnestness. I can “do” earnest but there is nothingI love more than a heart-rendingly pretty wine you just can’t stop slugging.

I’ve written that Zweigelt in essence is like scraping the topmost layer of fruit from Syrah, so that you get all the dark fruits and leave the smoke and leather and animality behind. To that I would add, if you’ve had any non-oaked Tempranillos, you’ll find a cognate here.

It prefers the Riedel Chianti Classico glass to the Jancis, in which the variety’s innate (and agreeable) bitterness is too insistent. Don’t quake at “bitterness,” because all your favorite gulping reds – at least those that used to be gulpers, e.g., basic Beaujolais, Dolcetto, Barbera, etc. – entail a bitter edge, which is why they slide down so temptingly.

When we think of complexity in a red wine we usually imagine it’s a mélange of fruit, tannin, terroir, umami and evanescence. But a wine like this can show that complexity is possible with fruit alone, and even “simple” fruit can entail many facets, as can be seen in this wine’s lovely and interesting finish. Why insist on more? This isn’t a TED-talk of the N-th degree of intricacy; it’s a superb comedian with great material of which she is in perfect command, and all you do is laugh and laugh and laugh.


It is if anything even more many-faceted and interesting three days later. If I could give out stars for sheer admiration (not to mention joy) this wine earns an entire galaxy.


2020 Zweigelt “Rubin Carnuntum”                                                      +

Without numbing your mind with arcane detail, this is the mid-range in the group. As such it’s either unavailable or barely available in the States, as mid-range wines tend to disappear conceptually, being neither the “great value” or the “best quality,” but living instead under the eternal curse of simply tasting good.

That is a great shame in this case, as the wine is Zweigelt-with-substance without sacrificing the gleaming fruit that makes the variety so charming. In the Jancis glass it begins to have notions of texture and a more resonant complexity. 

Think Beaujolais Cru and you’re in the ballpark. Not the stern ones like Julienas or Morgon, but the comely ones like Fleurie or Regnie.  But however you think of it, if you live in the U.S. think of what you’re missing, because this is a grown-up beauty from a grown-up vintner, that makes no great demands but merely offers a charming interplay of lavender and blackberries and violets and some sense of the lacquer on Szechuan spare ribs.

Drinkers within Austria are cordially invited to pour a glass, face west and go nyah nyah de nyah nyah!

The wine in fact is much more civilized than I am. Actually it makes me sad, that we so often approach wine based not on how it tastes but rather on how we “position” it conceptually. (In this regard the trade is even guiltier than the consumer.) I get it; there are eleventy-three bazillion wines in the world, but I can’t fathom one single person whom this wine wouldn’t make thoroughly and deliciously happy.


2021 Zweigelt Ried Haidacker (DAC Erste Lage)                                 +

(Bottle’s a little heavier than it needs to be, strictly speaking….)

“Smoky oak” enters the frame now. The site is a clay-ey loam with gravelly subsoils, on a bed of clay. The wood in general is 20% new barrique.

Look, I don’t despise the “international” style and I respect this wine’s ambition. While it’s rather anonymous aromatically, it’s seriously impressive on the palate. It has an adult approach to tannin (present but not clamorous) and it manages a finely dusty texture without burying the fruit a mile underground.

If it isn’t quite “distinctive,” it also doesn’t remind me of anything else I can call to mind. Honestly I find it beautiful, in a familiar way but one that steers clear of the glom of affected red wines that might have come from anywhere. In fact I don’t know how you can render a “serious” wine any better than this, and if you consider the articulation of violet (a varietal signature) with refined dusty tannin with a subtle earthiness with the calm yet buoyant gestalt, you have to be happy to drink such a wine.

With air a gentle smokiness arrives, along with a scent of fresh-ground nutmeg. A keen florality makes for a tasty top note. Is it too oaky? May I have seconds on the arancini?


2019 “Gotinsprun”

This (in effect) “super-Tuscan” wine is usually a cuvée of Merlot, Syrah and (mostly) Blaufränkisch, and in the ripe 2019 vintage we have 14% alc with which to contend. That, plus 70% new barrique….so you know the language already.

Much as I find this genre generally tedious, I confess, with great and terrible shame, that I’d drink this for pleasure. I actually like the oak, as it doesn’t taste like it was grafted onto a wine that didn’t need it, and to my great surprise, the 14% alc is entirely absorbed and well integrated. (Though less so in the inconveniently expressive Jancis glass…)

The question of whether this sort of thing is an expired dialect is always worth asking. Though this wine is an unusually agreeable example of such things, it’s my least favorite among the quartet. This will surprise no one who knows me. I’d enjoy the single glass I’d have before it starts to pall and I’d want something less ponderous and more light-footed. Glatzer knows this about me, with what degree of rue I cannot be sure. He did good work here, though, and his patience with my contrary and ridiculous taste is proof of his good nature.

The wine remained steady three days later, and this is a good thing, because I feared the fruit would fade and the alcohol come on. Neither thing transpired.


2021 Blaufränkisch (Carnuntum DAC)                                                     +

Few things have impressed me more than Glatzer’s sudden emergence as a serious producer of this wonderful variety, because I’d taken him to be a “Zweigelt guy,” and figured the BF was ancillary.

I first tasted the two varieties on different days, but when I revisited them I had one big flight, and this followed the Zweigelt Haidacker. The first thing I noticed was the variation of color – Zweigelt is red like cherries, and Blaufränkisch is blackish-red like blackberries.

This entry level wine is a high-acid grape in a high-acid year, and it’s both a winner and a steal. If you like the variety it’s all here in a perky sort of form, lively and giddy with its puppy energy, yet in this most playful vibe it also has every basic reason to attend to BF. 

That reduces to “pepper, herbs, scrub and berries.” It’s like picking blackberries beside the path and you scrape your hand a little as you push through the thorns. Yet this being Glatzer, the wine is replete with fruit so “sweet” it might have been ladled over the gorse with a great big spoon.

There’s such a thing as small-p profound, and here it is, dramatically and convincingly, in an ostensibly little wine that shows such palate length you wonder if will ever fade. A hint of tannin arrives like crushed leaves. And in case you’re thinking Sure, this is Terry’s kind of wine, but ease up dude… yup! I admit everything.

But then you’ll have to explain why I shouldn’t be amazed by a wine so pleasure-giving and also so focused and refined. When was the last time you had the utmost clarity and the utmost hedonism in the same glass? You really want to insist this is commonplace? I’ve been tasting wine for 45 years and here’s a news-break – it isn’t.


2019 Blaufränkisch Göttlesbrunn                                                         +

The village-wine. And now we have a wine with some attitude.

Compared to the totally tickleish “basic” wine, this one’s more broody. More of a “serious” affect. It’s a riot of complexity from the Jancis glass. It has the umami-sweetness of a warm ripe year.

And it is masterly. Once again, it unites elements usually disparate, so that we have a parmesan-type “sweetness” with a porcini earthiness with a mint sauce and with the lamb with which you served it. And again, you have depth with focus and fruit-sweetness with a gougere savor, and you have verticality with roundness – and what you have, in a wine I’d never insist is “great,” is most of the paradox that makes a wine great.

And all that’s before I tasted it from the Jancis. Here it does a truly ridiculous improbable thing; it offers a group of flavors we sometimes taste in Riesling, especially along the green line – wintergreen, oolong tea, linden, aloe, sorrel….how exactly can this be? TRINK magazine co-editor Valerie Kathawala (whom I interviewed for this site a few years ago) was taken aback when I said “It isn’t Pinot Noir that’s the red Riesling; it’s Blaufränkisch,” and this wine is a test case for my outré little theory.

We have curious relationships to the simple pleasures in wine. We seem to think we ought to despise their simplicity, because wine is exalted blah blah blah. A wine like this confounds the matter even more, because it appears to be simple but it’s actually quite detailed and complex. I don’t recall when I was ever tempted to write “raspberries and brown butter” in a tasting note.

It will suffer from being an “in-between” wine; hell, it will suffer from being Blaufruankisch and for that matter, for being Austrian red wine. <sigh>… can’t possibly imagine what joy you’re missing.

For me it is the keenest joy right when you open it. My second look was a day later (and at a slightly higher temp) and the wine leaned just a little toward anonymity – delicious anonymity, yes, but I liked it best when it was more stubbornly particular. I’m not convinced that judgment is reasonable….


2019 Blaufränkisch Ried Bärnreiser (erste lage)                              ++

The back label adds “Höflein” which is the village whence Bärnreiser hails.

Really I just wanted to use “whence.”  

Now we have the behavior of an “important” wine, though it being Blaufränkisch there’s the irrepressible lift of this most buoyant variety (Can anyone remember a Blaufränkisch being referred to as “ponderous?”) In effect it does what such wines are supposed to do. It accomplishes the mission. It jumps through all the hoops. It would appear to be predictable.

Why, then, is it so compelling? I think it has to do with a dark, dark stab of mint and pepper – specifically of Dak Song pepper – that arrives about 70% of the way along the palate, after you’ve registered the hedonic sweetness and the well-known elements of wood, everything familiar, basically. Then bam, something comes along that isn’t familiar at all. It’s analogous to the Etna twang, a pleasant sharpness that makes a wine bite like a lover.

Continuing my batshit ravings, you could imagine la Rioja Alta making a wine like this if they had an outpost in Austria. (And why not, you ask…) The wine is so successful in its idiom that I’m tempted to swoon, but can’t quite – and that is because while I register it as the “even-better” wine than its predecessors, I don’t love it more, only differently. It has the signal virtues of Blaufränkisch turned up two notches, but with a single exception it doesn’t add a new virtue.

The exception? A vivid minerality the previous wines only hinted at. This lovely thing, which takes 10-15 minutes to show from the glass, may be the spark plug, the gear-shifter that displays not only a larger wine, but a newer one. In the end, when you think you know it, or know its “type,” it ambushes you with a pile of salt and steel, and you’ve been walking through the vestibule and now you can enter the house.

In fact this was quite the flavor explosion on day-2, and as always occurs at such times, I find myself wanting to do away with description and just say, “It’s effing marvelous wine and it shows why Blaufränkisch is such an effing excellent variety.”


2020 St. Laurent “Alte Reben”

This is downgraded from “DAC Carnuntum” to the more general “Niederösterreich” (lower-Austria) presumably because St.-L is not a permitted variety for the DAC. Oh-kay…. Nor do I know if this is the wine that used to be called “Altenberg” after the vineyard, because maybe that vineyard isn’t officially recognized? Or? Oh I dolove wine laws.

Ancillary though it is, Glatzer seems to be able to “tame” this difficult variety, especially its tendency to (let’s say) a vibrant reduction in the glass. That said, this is a little brett-y (or “animal” if you like that sort of thing) and it isn’t his finest vintage – though he’s made a great many pretty gorgeous wines from our disruptive friend.

This gamey little critter is good, maybe even better than many others, but it’s not among Glatzer’s triumphs. No matter; he’s had more than his share of them! Perhaps it’ll be feral enough to appeal to our friends in the “natural wine” community.

They can be advised to wait a day or two after they open it, because my bottle was seriously stinky when I tasted it a day later. Oddly enough, the palate was borderline-acceptable, but the aromas….kinda farty. (And I’ll bet Andrew Jefford never used “farty” in a tasting note.)


2022 Grüner Veltliner

Stainless steel, on the fine lees until bottling in March.

A bit of reduction to start – our friend the screw cap again – but it flits away in less than a minute.

What’s left to say after all these years? (Nearly 30 since I first offered Glatzer!) The wine is a textbook GV; depending on vintage it’s more or less peppery, more or less vetiver-like, more or less legume-y, and in a few great years it rises above its genre.

Here with this ’22 it’s on the money, effective, tasty and typical and useful. For drinkers who find many GVs too sharply peppery, this one shows the varietal profile in a tenderer form.

Sincerely, any further verbiage over this appealing and expedient wine would be squandered. Pour-drink-repeat!


2022 Grüner Veltliner “Dornenvogel” Göttlesbrunn

It has the “village-wine” designation, but it’s in fact the best GV material, positioned as the “prestige” bottling, on its fine lees until June in stainless steel. Screwcap reduction again.

It’s frankly delicious. As it usually is! In my merchant days I’d compare it to a Wachau Federspiel and find it preferable in a dollars-for-flavor calculous. Except for the top of the Federspiel class, I’d do it again. The wine is lees-lush and grainy like farro or barley or even spelt. It has impressive cling and is both substantive and drinky.

What it is, is the equivalent of the Michelin bib gourmand category; good ingredients respectfully and well prepared, without the ambitions of the “starred” places. In some vintages the wine surmounts those limits, but ’22 is above all an unfussy sort of year. If you study this wine you’ll arrive at ginger and bee balm, but you may be precluded from those details by the sheer ease-of-drinking on display here.


2022 Weissburgunder (Carnuntrum DAC)

Fine-lees contact until April in stainless steel.

This has always been tasty in ripe years, and a little constricted in less ripe ones. Lees contact helps, and this is what I’d call a tasty little wine if that didn’t seem so dismissive.

Put it this way; the variety can make crisply neutral wines (such as the quite-good Hexamer I tasted last week) and it can try to stretch upward to a white-Burgundy profile, and it can also occupy a satisfying middle ground as this one does, and once in a while it can be quite the little terroir beast (see Dautel…) and it can also be a “modest” wine with a ton of leesy charm (see, again, Dautel!) – so where exactly does this fit?

It sits in a space among Pinot Blancs of moderate size and moderate ambition, and that excel by dint of their drinky-ness, which entails the leesy charm I keep going on about. It’s less “sweet” than Dautel’s basic bottling, a bit more broad-based than Darting’s insanely tasty wine, and what I’d call this vintage is “appealingly neutral and fluffy,” adding that it's among the better ones.

Time was, such a wine might have been depicted as “of local interest.” The problem was, these were also the kinds of wines people adored when they were over there, and wondered why the hell they couldn’t find them when they got back home. Why indeed?

What compels a Yank to go into a shop and ask for an everyday wine that tastes kind of like brown rice and oatmeal? Cheap white wine is a crowded field, and getting a buyer to focus on a wine like our guy here is mostly a matter of luck. He needs a glass pour, you happen to be there, this wine is open, it tastes fine – send me five cases for Friday. The wine will crush it with the beer-battered fish & chips, but when the buyer wants to re-up, the distributor is out of stock, because they didn’t buy much, because it is Austrian wine which is a hard sell.

It's hardly tragic that a pleasing modest wine like this is DOA in this market.  So are a thousand others. But I know this guy.


2022 Sauvignon Blanc                                                     glug-glug-glug!

Again declassified to “Niederösterreich,” this is the basic SB, the “top” one being a single-site (no longer admissible, entailing the creation of a new name), and when I tasted them both last may while visiting the estate, this was the one I liked better.

I still like it! Sometimes you want a Sauvignon Blanc that just Sauvignon Blancs at your thirsty ass, and this one does in the most engaging way, full-throttle but tilting away from crudeness and toward finesse.

In the best way, this doesn’t insist on the Nth degree of description. You got your gooseberry and you got your litchee and you got your redcurrant, but what you don’t have to put up with are any of the often vulgar assertions of this variety.

So, spicy-spicy-spicy and drinky-drinky-drinky and we all go to bed happy and our night burps taste like hyssop.

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