Grüß Sie from Austria

Our latest tasting was with Thomas Stopfer from the eponymous Weinhof Thomas Stopfer that’s located in the idyllic village of Ruppersthal, in the Austrian wine region of Wagram.

Having come from generations of winemakers, Thomas inherited three hectares of vineyards that he’s now grown to 13 hectares. 80% of the vineyards are planted with white grape varieties, with the native Grüner Veltliner being their main focus. Zweigelt (a crossing between St Laurent and Blaufränkisch) is the most popular red variety and makes up about 14% of plantings.

Weinhof Thomas Stopfer produces a range of wines that can be divided into three categories that each come with an associated symbol:

  • Classic (circle): These are the winery’s entry-level wines. Light in style, they aim to provide classic fruity notes that showcase varietal character.
  • Vom Löss (diamond): These are characterful, medium-weight wines. Grapes come from fertile loess soil, which gives the wines a playful, mineral flavour.
  • Top (triangle): As the name implies, these are the winery’s top wines. Rich and complex, these wines are aged before release and are designed to get better with age.

Thomas took us through a selection of his wines (all of which we stock!) and here’s some detail on each of them:

Gemischter Satz 2020

Gemischter Satz is a field blend wine made from several different co-fermented grape varieties. The grape varieties and the proportion of each change on a yearly basis meaning that there are slight taste and profile variations each vintage. This particular field blend has six different varieties: Müller-Thurgau, Roter Veltliner, Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Neuburger and Gelber Muscateller. This is a light and fruity wine that has delicate floral, citrus and green apple notes. With a lovely zesty acidity, this wine is a real crowd-pleaser that would work well as an apéritif on a warm summer’s evening.

Grüner Veltliner vom Löss 2019

Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s signature grape variety and this example from Thomas Stopfer is an absolute delight. Coming from their vom Löss range, this wine has notes of grapefruit, lime zest and white pepper that are complemented by a playful acidity and subtle minerality. Pair this like the locals with Wiener Schnitzel – absolutely delicious!

Grüner Veltliner Ried Steinberg 2018

At the top of the range, this Grüner Veltliner comes from the Steinberg vineyard.

Green apple, fresh lime, ripe peach and blossom characteristics work wonderfully with a white pepper spiciness and light flint note. On the palate, it is deeper and richer than the vom Löss, and a touch of salinity is rounded out by hints of almond and honey on the finish.

With tremendous texture and great length, this is a real treat that would work wonderfully with seafood or lighter chicken dishes.

Zweigelt Classic 2018

This Zweigelt comes from the same range as the Gemischter Satz and, interestingly, has a dark blue skin tone. This is a fruity and easy-drinking with cherry, raspberry and cassis flavours. A fresh acidity on the palate is complemented by delicate floral and spice characteristics. Designed to be light in style, you can drink this wine a little cooler – almost like a Beaujolais – just pop it in the fridge for half an hour before drinking.

Zweigelt Reserve Ried Mordthal 2019

This higher-quality Zweigelt comes from the Mordthal vineyard. Immediately, you can tell that this is a more powerful wine, and ripe plum, strawberry, blackberry and cherry notes jump out of the glass. Aged for 18 months in a mixture of old and new barrels, the wine has softer tannins and has drawn out vanilla, cedar and tobacco characteristics from the wood. Pair this like the locals do with dark meat dishes like deer or wild boar.

With 10% off our Austrian wine selection in July, now’s the perfect time to explore Wagram. Thank you again to Thomas for such a fun and informative tasting!