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Details for Rabl, Grüner Veltliner, 'Langenlois'


CountryAustria
Region
AppellationKamptal DAC
Grape
Grüner Veltliner
(click to find out more)
Year2015
Producer
ABV12.5%


Kamptal

There are three great white wine DACs along the valley of the Danube as it flows east towards Vienna: Wachau, Kremstal, and Kamptal.  Actually Kamptal lies significantly to the north of the Danube, instead occupying the valley of its south-flowing tributary, the Kamp.
 
Daytime temperatures in lower-lying Kamptal are a degree or so warmer than in Wachau, but cold air flows down the Kamp valley at night to compensate, preserving acidity in the grapes.  The warmer days allow it to grow a wider range of varieties than its more famous neighbour Wachau, but Grüner Veltliner and Riesling still dominate.
 
Indeed those two varieties are the only ones allowed to use the Kamptal DAC; wines made from other grapes must be sold under the broader Niederösterreich DAC.  Riesling is favoured on higher, steeper sites with thin, granitic soils, while Grüner flourishes on the deep loess terraces closer to the river.
 
The most famous vineyards cluster in the centre of the region around Langenlois, which has been famed as a wine town for centuries.


Weingut Rabl

With 80 hectares of their own vineyards, supplemented by buying from a further 20ha, family-owned Weingut Rabl is one of the largest producers in the Kamptal region, and indeed in Austria.  That’s still not very big in absolute terms: for all its fame, Austria produces only about 1% of the world’s wine.
 
Rudolph Rabl junior is winemaker and business manager, having joined his father Rudolph senior in the family business in 1986.  They have a long history: the family have farmed their estate on the outskirts of the famous wine town Langenlois for centuries, and Rudi’s great-grandfather was selling wine in barrel to local innkeepers in 1900.
 
In the 1940s they were one of the first producers in the region to bottle their own wine, and in 1950 they began to produce separate bottlings from named vineyards.  That bold move paid off a year later, when their Grüner Veltliner 1950 from the Käferberg vineyard won best wine in the whole Wachau-Kremstal-Kamptal region.  Their wines have been regular trophy winners ever since.
 
Rudi is an advocate of spontaneous, wild yeast fermentation, and prefers to use skin contact for his whites rather than the whole-cluster pressing most Austrian producers employ.  As well as the GVs and Rieslings expected of a Kamptal producer, Rabl make whites from other varieties including Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat.
 
From their warmest vineyards they even produce reds, from local varieties (Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Blauberger) and international ones (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon).  Rabl also keep alive the tradition of late-harvest sweet wines and Eiswein, when the vintage allows.
 

about this wine About this wine


Austria punches well above its weight in the world of wine.  As a not-terribly-scientific measurement of that country’s commitment to quality over quantity, let’s use column-inches in the world’s best-selling wine book: Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Guide.
 
Austria produces just over 1% of all the world’s wine, yet merits seven pages in the slim Guide.  That’s only two pages fewer than Argentina (4.6%) and Chile (3.8%) put together, a feat which is even more remarkable given that Austrians are enthusiastic drinkers of their own wine, consuming just under 1% of the world’s output.  There’s not much left for export.
 
We’ve featured just one Austrian wine before: unusually, it was a red.  Although red wine production has doubled in the last two decades, two-thirds of Austrian vineyards are still white, and almost all the wine that gets exported is white Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.
 
Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s unique contribution to the world’s great white grapes.  Almost always made dry, it boasts a remarkable range of flavours including lots of vegetable notes as well as the more usual fruits and flowers.  It also has the rare ability to produce satisfyingly complete, balanced wines at levels of ripeness from 10.5% all the way to 15%.
 
Winemaker Rudi Rabl has taken advantage of that versatility, creating this wine from a variety of prime vineyards around his home town of Langenlois, picking each at the right moment to produce the style that suits them best, before blending them together to produce this complex, middleweight wine.  His aim is that cooler, windier sites will contribute acidity and fresh fruit flavours, while more sheltered, sunnier terraces will add body and rich, peppery spice.
 
Each vineyard was picked and fermented separately.  At the winery the grapes were destemmed and crushed before undergoing extended cold maceration on the skins to extract aroma and flavour componds.  Fermentation was in temperature-controlled stainless steel at a fairly cool 20°C to 21°C, followed by six months aging, again in stainless steel to preserve the purity of the flavours.


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