Wine of the Year Follow-Up: 2007 Mandel-Hoh (MADCrush All-Austrian Night!)

Posted by CrushWine

2007 Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Hoh
Special Pricing On the Latest Vintage of
My Wine of the Year from 2008!
All-Austrian Aus-travaganza this Thursday at MADCrush!

"Once you experience Mandel-Hoh you'll be hooked. This wine has virtually cult status in Austria, yet the price is not at all outrageous, and Stadlmann sees fit to share some with the United States."
- David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate

I'm very proud to say that Stadlmann's Zierfandler from the cult vineyard "Mandel-Höh" has become a Crush signature bottling.(Zierfandler Mandel-Whät? Click here for more on the vineyard and grape.)

The 2006 was my "Wine of the Year" in December of 2007 and as I introduced this rather eccentric and unknown wine, I wrote the following line: "...this bottle will probably never score 100 points - so far as I can find, no one's ever even rated it!"

If life is strange, the wine world is even stranger and sure enough about six months later David Schildknecht's Austrian report for the Wine Advocate came out and not only was Stadlmann's Zierfandler Mandel-Höh written up, but it also received its long-awaited, righteous due as one of Austria's best cult bottlings - see below for the entire review.

As you probably know, we're not big fans of point scores, but it's insightful to see the company that this "humble" bottling kept in Schildknecht's reviews; Austrian elites like FX Pichler's Grüner Loibnerberg Smaragd, Prager's Riesling Klaus and Achleiten Smaragds and Nigl's Grüner Alte Reben all had to make room to welcome Stadlmann's Zierfandler Mandel-Höh. (Not to mention that the Stadlmann Zierfandler arrives at the table about 50% below the sticker price of the others.)

So today we have our first-ever "Wine of the Year Follow-Up" because the producer, grape and vineyard site combination are too special and rare to only shine the spotlight on once - and especially because the follow-up vintage (2007) is such a worthy and invigorating sequel.

Pictured at Right: A bottle of Stadlmann's Zierfandler flies the Austrian flag on the top of the capsule and we'll be flying the Austrian flag this Thursday at the *final* MADCrush, with guest chef Kurt Gutenbrunner of Wallsé, Café Sabarsky and Blauegans fame, with an all-Austrian lineup of wines. A NOT-TO-BE-MISSED evening for the Austrian wine enthusiast. Click here for more details.

The 2006 was an epic wine, a lavish Zierfandler-extravaganza while the 2007 edition is firmer, more compact with a serious mineral-driven spine. I still remember first tasting this wine at its debut in Vienna and there was such life to the bottle, such mouthwatering energy and focus. The 2007 is lighter than the 2006, no question about it, but still, it is not a light wine. Yes, the 2007 has great poise and a tension that gives it a crisp, mouthwatering feel, yet Zierfandler has an undeniable richness and density to it. Zierfandler has a flavor profile that is slightly honeyed and exceedingly floral and tasting-note descriptors can include stone fruits to honeydew melon, mangos, quince, marzipan, almonds and more.

Time (as it so often does) offers us a bit more context within which to appreciate the 2007 in regards to the 2006. If the 2007 vintage suffered a bit on the heels of it's showy older brothers, I think most Austrian fanatics at this point would be hard-pressed to pick the "better" vintage. The top 2007s have developed into some serious wines and as difficult as the harvest was, the top vintners - like FX Pichler, Prager, Nigl AND Stadlmann! - made the necessary selections and the wines show beautiful purity, no want of concentration, and just such stylish energy on the palate, such focus.

For classic palates, you old-school folks who want minerals and definition, 2007 is your vintage. The 2007 Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Höh is in stock now and drinking so well - do not hesitate to keep this in the fridge as your August Austrian internal air conditioning. That said, Zierfandler can age, and so we have provided special six-pack pricing for those of you who would like to cellar a few continue your Zierfandler Mandel-Höh vertical!

Only a tiny bit of this wine comes into the US; this will be our one and only offering of the 2007 edition. Support great, esoteric, Austrian winemaking and click below or call the store at (212) 980-9463 to secure your bottles as soon as possible.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Buyer
Zierfandler Enthusiast
Crush Wine & Spirits

2007 Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Hoh

Note: Stadlmann makes a simpler Zierfandler that does not come from the Mandel-Höh vineyard. While this is a fine bottling, it is not at the level of the Mandel-Höh Zierfandler and is priced accordingly.

While the 2007 is much more lithe, with more energy and a mineral-driven focus, it is still a rich, flowery wine and Schildknecht's write-up on the 2006 is not irrelevant at all. In fact it's a lovely bit of writing that also includes some words on the Stadlmann's themselves. And so here it is - but just to be clear: This review is just for context - we are *only* offering the 2007 edition today.

David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Zierfandler Mandel-Hoh smells ripely and mouth-wateringly of quince, marzipan, gentian, and violets, saturates the palate with lush compote of apples, quince and mango, wreathed in flowers and accepted by bitter-sweet grapefruit zest. The piquant, persistently floral, bitter-sweet, zesty, as well as subtly stony finish is truly haunting. Once you experience Mandel-Hoh you'll be hooked. This wine has virtually cult status in Austria, yet the price is not at all outrageous, and Stadlmann sees fit to share some with the United States."

"The affable Johann Stadlmann is by all accounts (as well as my limited experience) the leading grower in the Thermenregion south of Vienna, where he demonstrates the distinctive wiles of this sector's Rotgipfler and Zierfandler grapes, while also crafting some outstanding examples of more familiar traditional Austrian varieties. I only had opportunity to taste a subset of his 2005s and 2006s but as a group, they were impressive, and his Mandel-Hoh Zierfandler is a wine that simply must be experienced."

NET / No further discount
2007 Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Höh is in stock!