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ROBERT PARKER Rating: (94-96)
Reviewed by Stephan Reinhardt
Issue Date 30th Jun 2016

Ott's 2015 Feuersbrunner Rosenberg 1ÖTW Grüner Veltliner is a selection only from the oldest, 60-years-old vines, whereas in former vintages 45+-year-old vines were included. The 2015 opens with a fascinatingly clear, floral and herbal bouquet of great precision and individuality. With white-fruit aromas, but mainly mineral flavors, this is one of the greatest Veltliner bouquets I have ever sniffed. On the palate the wine is bone-dry, knife-sharp precise, elegant, finesse-full and rich in a reduced way. Less than 1 grams of residual sugar. Rich and juicy, but extremely sharp and mineral, with a great verve and livliness and a very long and salty finish. This is Ott's quintessence of Grüner Veltliner, and if I say Ott I am speaking of Mister Veltliner. A benchmark not only in the Wagram and a strong proof for the thesis that Wagram's loess soils do not necessarily give rich and creamy textured wines of great opulence. This Rosenberg is the wine to challenge the 2015s from Prager, Wachau. I tasted it from the Zalto Universal which stresses the sharpness, precision and salinity, whereas Zalto's Burgundy glass is more mouth-feel, roundness, balance and elegance, also more fruit.

It was the deadline day of this issue (June 3) when I got the chance to taste the 2015s of "Mister Veltliner" Bernhard Ott, one of the leading wine estates in the Wagram region, if not the whole Danube valley. These wines, especially the grands crus or Erste Lage wines from Grüner Veltliner (indicated on the label as 1ÖTW), are the greatest wines Ott has bottled in roughly 20 years. They are sharp and precise, yet elegant with great transparency and mineral vitality, intertwined with a juicy, perfectly clear and ripe fruit. Namely the Grüner Veltliner Rosenberg 1ÖTW from 60+-year-old vines is the finest Veltliner Bernhard Ott has ever made. I would even take the risk to bet that there has never been a greater wine produced in the Wagram. Whereas the three grands crus were still to be bottled, the 2015 Grüner Veltliner Der Ott is a "super second" that includes the juice of all the top vineyards, but from younger, up to 45-year-old vines. It has never been better, although the 2014 was already a great Veltliner. And the new Gemischter Satz (which includes 20% of old vines Welschriesling) is a highly attractive new entry due to its aromatic bouquet and its crisp and piquant character.

Okay, vintage 2015 started problematic around Feuersbrunn, with great hail damages in early May reducing the yields partly dramatically. But in the end of the early harvest (between September 8/9 and October 12/13) the grapes had a concentrated and juicy taste and kept the acidity stunningly well for such a dry and warm year, finds Ott. For example, "the Engabrunner Stein was picked with 100° Oechsle and 8.3 grams of total acidity, Ott said, adding that “in the past ten years we have lost 1% of alcohol but gained one gram of acidity. This is surely the consequence of a decade of consequent biodynamic farming and vital soils.“ It was in 2006 when Ott went green respectively biodynamic.

Since the thick-skinned Veltliner grapes were perfectly healthy and had a very good acidity in 2015, Ott went an essential step forward in processing the grapes. These were crushed and pressed with the stems during four (Veltliner Vom Berg) and 18 hours (1ÖTW) and, in fact, there is no bitter tone in his wines, which are incomparable in their grip and mineral precision. With his 2015s, especially Der Ott and the grands crus Ott demonstrates impressively that wines from loess soils are not necessarily broad, opulent or creamy but can be very clear, bone dry, vibrantly fresh and sharp as a knife. If you love Meursault or German Riesling you should definitely try Bernhard Ott’s Grüner Veltliners from 2015. They are mind-blowing.

The top Grüner Veltliner each year is from the Feuersbrunner Rosenberg Erste Lage vineyard, acquired by Bernhard’s father in 1961 with vines dating back to 1956. The soils here are deep loess, which coupled with the 54 year old vines create a complex and harmonious concentration. The wine is mind-bending with tight minerality infused with an intensity nearly impossible to find elsewhere. The Rosenberg is recently RESPEKT – biodynamic certified.

Prijs (vanaf 6 flessen): € 36,86 / fles

Eenheidsprijs: € 44,60

Kelderresten: 24 stuks
Volume: 0.75 L