The Wines of Anton Bauer

Anton Bauer, is a highly successful Austrian family winery in Wagram.  It is managed by 4th generation winemaker Anton Bauer who is a graduate of the School of Wine and Fruit Growing in Krems, Lower Austira, and has spent four years training in Burgundy. He took over the winery in 1982 from his parents. We review his wines from the 2015 and 2016 vintages below.

Under Anton Bauer’s direction, the winery has grown to 29 hectares with four outstanding single vineyard sites of deep loess and clay soils:  Rosenberg, Spiegel,  Gmörk, and Berg.  The first three produce  excellent Grüner Veltliner and the fourth Riesling , as noted in the  reviews below.  See map.

The winery has a large portfolio of excellent wines made from indigenous and international grapes farmed organically.   Grüner Veltliners are especially noteworthy.  It is a fairly sizeable winery in Austrian terms, producing 30,000 cases annually and exporting 70% to the United States and Europe.  It produces single vineyard and village level wines, and as many red wines as whites which is unusual for most Austrian producers.

Anton Bauer is a  winery at the cutting edge of wine making.  While respecting, nature, heritage and tradition, it is also modern and experimental. It employs an optical sorter to sort its grapes, and  is also experimenting with micro-oxygenation and concrete eggs in crafting Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Blanc.  While continuing to oak ferment his wines, Anton Bauer is also using the eggs to brighten up the wines.    He is also aging his wines in the cellar to enhance complexity, which it not common practice in Austria.

While we became acquainted with Anton Bauer and its wines  several years ago in preparing our Report #25 The Wines of Austria, this is the first opportunity we have had to re-taste them, and we are happy we did.  The wines reviewed here are primarily from the 2016 and 2015 vintages which were excellent. Despite early spring frosts and heavy rains in May there were eight weeks of perfect weather in 2016  during the harvest which resulted in perfect ripening of whites and reds.  The 2015 vintage was even better, especially for reds.  Most of the 2015 reds will be released this fall, except for the Blaufrankish which he keeps longer.

White Wines

 Anton Bauer 2016 Gmörk Grüner Veltliner Wagram ($16) 89+    Pale yellow in color, the Gmörk Grüner Veltliner displays an intense aroma of yellow fruit and it is light-bodied and elegant with  high acidity and overall freshness.

 Anton Bauer 2016 Rosenberg Grüner Veltliner Wagram ($24) 91  The single-vineyard Rosenberg Grüner Veltliner is a delightful wine offering  yellow fruit with hints of minerals, a rich and creamy mouth feel , high acidity and perfect balance.

 Anton Bauer 2015 Spiegel Grüner Veltliner Wagram ($34) 93The Spiegel Grüner Veltliner is a stand out.  Aged in Hungarian oak barrels it offers a  lovely yellow gold color and is fruit rich and elegant much like a fine Burgundy although it only spends 6 months on the lees in 2000 liter barrels.

Anton Bauer 2015 Grande Reserve Grüner Veltliner Wagram ($49) 92  The Grande Reserve Grüner Veltliner is blended from top Grüner Veltliner vineyards like Spiegel and Rosenberg,  Yellow gold in color it is fruit forward with bright tropical-like fruitiness, good intensity of flavor and a light chalky finish.

 Anton Bauer 2015 Berg Riesling Wagram ($19) 89   The Berg Riesling is a fresh aromatic wine featuring aromas of orchard fruit with hints of lemon and minerals.  It is fruit forward and spicy with excellent flavor, mouth feel and acidity.  It will pair well with Asian cuisines.

Anton Bauer 2014 Roter Veltliner Wagram ($19) 90 Roter Veltliner is not related to Grüner Veltliner, despite the name.  It is, more like Malvasia and usually serves as a  blending grape. It is high yielding in the vineyard and only produces attractive grapes in old vineyards like this 40-year old leased vineyard.  It is a rich and flavorful wine of  yellow apple revealing  good depth of flavors, balance and acidity and a crisp dry finish. .

Anton Bauer 2012 Pinot Blanc Wagram ($44) 90   An overlooked  grape in Austria, Pinot Blanc is best  when it has some age and is vinified in oak.  This one from the 2012 vintage is fermented and aged in French barriques and offers wonderful aromas of yellow fruit, toasted oak and touch of sweetness.

 Rosé and Red Wines

Anton Bauer 2016 Rosé Zweigelt Wagram ($15) 89+  This rosé is a blend of equal quantities of Zweigelt, Merlot and Syrah crafted following the Saignee method. It displays a lovely pink orange color and is rich and flavorful with red berry fruit, crisp acidity and a  lively  finish

Anton Bauer 2015 Pinot Noir Wagram ($24) 90+  The Pinot Noir Wagram offers fresh red berry fruit that is reminiscent of ripe-style California Pinot. Fruit forward and flavorful, it shows good acidity and freshness, excellent balance and a long finish.  Sourced from Dijon clones.  The 2015 Pinot Noir is already sold out and the 2016 will be released in February 2018.  Well done.

Anton Bauer 2013 Pinot Noir Reserve Wagram ($49) 92  The Pinot Noir Reserve Wagram is a big step up in quality from the regular Pinot Noir. Made from Anton Bauer’s best barrels, it is a rich ripe-tasting  wine, also sourced from Dijon clones, and fermented and aged in oak for 20 months,   It is soft and velvety smooth on the palate with round tannins and a persistent finish.

Anton Bauer 2014 Cuvée Wagram ($18) 90  The Cuvée Wagram is a blend of Zweigelt, Blaufrankish, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.   Quite popular in Austria, it is a delicious wine of red and black fruit flavors that offers the freshness and fruitiness of Zweigelt with the more complex and rich dark fruit flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  It is soft on the palate with ripe tannins and a pleasant finish.

Anton Bauer 2012 Reserve Wagram ($35) 92   The Reserve Wagram consists of  40% Cabernet Sauvignon supported by various Austrian varieties.   Dark in color, almost opaque, it is a beautiful fruit-forward blend and is soft and  mouth filling, with round tannins, and is long lasting on the palate . A superb wine.

Anton Bauer 2013 Zweigelt Wagram ($16) 89   The Zweigelt is a pleasant  fruit forward wine with good freshness and dark fruit flavor and a touch of herbaceousness.  It has soft round tannins and a pleasant finish.

Anton Bauer 2012 Blaufrankish  “Artist” Wagram ($35) 93  This Blaufrankish from the 2012 vintage is a first-rate wine. Sourced from the estate’s best barrels,  it is opaque ruby in color and offers rich ripe  dark fruit flavors and hints of chocolate.  It combines good intensity of flavor, soft round tannins, and a long finish.  Only six barrels were made of this luscious wine.  The 2013 Blaufrankish was just released and will be arriving in the US in the Fall.

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