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BERNHARD OTT - STEIN Erste Lage (2015)


ROBERT PARKER Rating: (93-95)
Reviewed by Stephan Reinhardt
Issue Date 30th Jun 2016

From gneiss soils covered with white and red sand and finally loess, the 2015 Engabrunner Stein 1ÖTW Grüner Veltliner is a very clear, deep and flinty flavored wine with superripe white-fruit aromas on the nose. Rich and elegant on the palate. this is a generously fruity but precise and tension-filled Veltliner with a lush texture and a precisely mineral piquancy in the pure and salty finish. An impressive Veltliner full of grip and aging potential. Due to hail damage yields were very, very low in 2015 and only 4,000 liters of the 2015 Stein have been bottled from 5.25 hectares of vines.

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 Engabrunner Stein Erste Lage, rests on the border of Wagram and Kamptal, technically belonging to the Kamptal region. This wine is grown on soils of gneiss, chalk and loess, as well as red and yellow sands. The grapes are grown on old vines, the oldest of which were planted in 1957. The wine receives a 30 hour maceration on the skins which contributes to its intensity of mineralic expression. The Stein is now RESPEKT – biodynamic certified.

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

Eenheidsprijs: € 44,60

Kelderresten: 30 stuks
Volume: 0.75 L