2019 Weingut Stadlmann, Pinot Noir "Classic"
2019 Weingut Stadlmann, Pinot Noir "Classic"

2019 Weingut Stadlmann, Pinot Noir "Classic"

Thermenregion, Austria 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$33.00

2019 Weingut Stadlmann, Pinot Noir "Classic"

Lovers of Pinot Noir owe a debt of gratitude to the Cistercians, those wine-loving monks who played such an integral role in developing the vineyards and wines of Burgundy. But they didn’t stop in Burgundy—no, these industrious clerics got around, including to Germany and Austria, so if you’re surprised by the sight of an Austrian Pinot Noir, don’t be. The Cistercians brought “Burgundian” grape varieties to the Thermenregion, home of Bernhard Stadlmann, in the 12th century, likely recognizing that the clay and limestone soils resembled those of the Mothership in Burgundy. Located about 20 minutes south of Vienna, just down the Danube from Austria’s more-famous wine appellations, Thermenregion is yet another German-speaking Pinot Noir terroir we need to keep an eye on—because, as in neighboring Germany, the wines keep getting better while remaining stellar values. In fact, “stellar” doesn’t really cut it when it comes to Stadlmann’s 2019. “Unbelievable” is more like it, but we’re splitting hairs here—the point is that this is a delicious, expressive, eminently affordable Pinot Noir you can’t allow yourself to miss.

Adding to the value proposition here is the history behind the wine, which is characteristically deep in this part of the world: The Stadlmann family has tended vines in Thermenregion since 1780, with current proprietor Bernhard—who, it’s worth noting holds three doctoral degrees—representing the eighth generation. Stadlmann owns 20 hectares of vines in the northern sector of the Thermenregion, which is characterized by gentle, rolling hills and a mild climate tempered somewhat by cooling currents from the Alps to the west. Most of the vineyards in the appellation have an east-facing aspect, exposing them to morning sunlight, and while Pinot Noir has thrived here for centuries, so have more “local” reds such as Rotgipfler and Zierfandler (for which Stadlmann is more famous than for their Pinot Noir). Even in the “pre-climate change” era, this area is a red wine terroir as much as a white one. 

Stadlmann is among a handful of producers in the Thermenregion to join the ÖTW (Österreichische Traditionsweingüter, or “Traditional Wine Estates”), a winegrower’s association founded in 1992 whose primary objective is to classify traditional Austrian vineyards in much the same way vineyards are classified in Burgundy. Membership in ÖTW has been a way for quality-minded producers to place the focus on terroir, rather than on the levels of sugar in grapes at harvest, which has historically been how Austrian and German wines were classified.

Stadlmann’s painstakingly farmed organic vineyards (Certified Organic since 2006) provide the source material for this smoky and succulent 2019. It was fermented and aged in large, well-used Austrian oak casks, offering up a tantalizing mix of ripe red cherry fruit, spice, and minerals. Decant it 15 minutes before serving at 60 degrees in Burgundy stems and prepare for a sweet-savory serenade of red and black cherry, wild strawberry, rhubarb, rose petals, and lots of underbrush, smoke, leather, and herbs. It is medium-bodied, fine-grained, and—pardon the stereotyping—very precise, with great acidity for pairing with food. We recommended the attached recipe a while back when we offered a similarly styled Pinot Noir from Baden, Germany, and it should work even better in this instance. Welcome Austria to the Pinot Noir value party!

2019 Weingut Stadlmann, Pinot Noir "Classic"

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