Neumayer

Ludwig Neumayer is considered by many, certainly by us,  one of Austria's top five producers for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. Liked and admired by his colleagues for his uncompromising style of laser-sharp precision and purity, Ludwig has ventured where many did not dare to go and produces wines that show their superior quality only to the trained and patient.

The Traisental is not only one of the most recent official growing regions of Austria (named in 1996), it is also one of the least known. Situated on the south or wrong side of the Danube, it is even a bit difficult to see or find. From the Wachau and Krems, you have to drive over and through the hills that form the southern canyon of the Danube, past the great monastery of Göttweig to a subsidiary valley facing both south and east. This is the Traisental.

A number of wineries have been known here, but chief among them and clearly the recognized flagship estate is Ludwig Neumayer, who began in 1985, before the Traisental had been named. He is located in Inzersdorf ob der Traisen, a sleepy little village above the main valley. His corner of vineyards (a little less than 9 hectares) finds itself in a narrow transitional zone between the crumbling primary rock (Urgestein, Granulit) of the Wachau and the deeper alluvial soils (mostly loess) of the Wagram.

Ludwig's little terraces are planted in lean and oftentimes limestony conglomerate soils. This variety of terroirs invites the production of very finely nuanced wines, and contributes to the remarkable different varieties of Neumayer's wines, which include Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Weissburgunder, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and about 10% of diverse other varieties including reds.

The common thread running through the production, however, like a fine vein of ore, expresses itself in radiant aromas, crystal-clarity and unerringly precise varietal typicity of the wines—even the grandest and most majestic of his Wein vom Stein cuvées exhibit a noteworthy eloquence of expression and exquisite breeding.

His wines tend to age forever. Twenty year old wines taste as though they are barely 3-5 years old. And his biggest wines never taste heavy. Heaviness is just not in his book, a result of clean fruit, limestone soils and the Ludwig magic in the cellar that can't be defined because he likes to never do the same thing twice, because nature doesn't either.

Contrary to most producers, Ludwig Neumayer's highest quality wines, the "Vom Stein" Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are not single vineyard wines, but selections of his single vineyard's best grapes. With two grand cru "erste Lagen", the Rothenbart for Riesling and the Zwirch for Grüner Veltliner, Neumayer offers top single vineyards after, and if you want below is Vom Stein selections.

Other sites like Engelreich, Rafasetzen, Gießgraben and Spielberg round out a wide offering of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, each wine uniquely different yet following the unmistakable style of the house.

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