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South Styrian extravaganza: Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay from Ried Grubthal

by Bettina Bäck
The Grubthal phenomenon: the fog line runs through the middle of the vineyard.

Every vineyard has its own DNA. For Austrian winemaker Reinhard Muster, Ried Grubthal is like a treasure chest full of freshness, minerality and extravagance. The two jewels, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Chardonnay, both from the 2020 vintage, prove that the "world champion vineyard" produces great results time and time again.

The "recipe for success" of Muster's top wines from the Ried Grubthal vineyard is based on the balance between terroir and grape variety expression paired with a deliberate nonchalance in vinification – not forgetting the weather of course! True to Reinhard Muster's philosophy, his wines are allowed to develop and have certain characteristics. "As a (former) perfectionist, I am always surprised by the exciting character that wines can develop…if you just let them!" enthuses the top Styrian winemaker. This also applies to enjoying the Grubthal wines from the Muster.Gamlitz winery: simply pour, lean back and let the spectacle in the glass unfold.

Winemaker Reinhard Muster

„Extravagance interests me more than beauty.“

Winemaker Reinhard Muster
Ried Grubthal
Ried Grubthal © Muster.Gamlitz
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2020 Sauvignon Blanc Ried Grubthal

This wine is not for bores, as the vibrant minerality of the vineyard ensures excitement in the glass. A wine for connoisseurs of complexity and precision, a vegetal aroma, plenty of freshness accompanied by blackcurrants and gooseberries, Szechuan pepper and an elegant acidity curve. Perhaps the best Grubthal Sauvignon Blanc ever!

The winemaker’s food pairing tip: Kohlrabi in a salt crust – the savory component of the dish plays wonderfully with the minerality of the wine.

Available in the online shop for € 44.–

Ried Grubthal
Ried Grubthal © Margit Steidl
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2020 Chardonnay Ried Grubthal

A southern Styrian temperament combines with the discretion of the grape variety. A diva that sets the scene perfectly. Introverted on the palate at first, then incredibly developed – a wine with a fascinating personality. A hint of exoticism and juiciness, paired with special elegance, saltiness and refined roasted flavours.

The winemaker’s food pairing tip: Homemade pappardelle à la crème

with fresh truffles – the creamy touch is a heavenly harmony with the velvety texture of the Chardonnay.

Available in the online shop for € 39.–

The 2020 vintage

"The 2020 vintage is MY vintage," says Reinhard Muster, because "the wines are less perfect than those from the following year, but are characterised by noble restraint, freshness and extravagance. I personally particularly like that".

About the Ried Grubthal vineyard

The soil consists of deep, loamy sand with an extremely high proportion of shell limestone (pH value 7.6). The vines, which are rooted on slopes with an inclination of 30 - 40 %, can therefore draw a lot of firm character from the soil.

The weather plays a special role in Grubthal: the south-southwest facing basin opens up towards the Koralpe mountain range. In this basin, the warm current from the Adriatic mixes with the cold air masses from the nearby Alps. Temperatures between the valley floor (280 metres above sea level) and the 320-metre-high summit often vary by an incredible five to seven degrees! Even in summer, temperatures in the basin can drop to as low as 12 °C.  The fog line that runs through the centre of the vineyard often conjures up frost and hail. This phenomenon is a major challenge, as the Grubthal vineyard is also one of the first in the southern Styrian wine community of Gamlitz to sprout in spring and the first to ripen in autumn. This enormous tension is also noticeable in the wines. Perhaps it is precisely this characteristic that is responsible for Ried Grubthal already producing several world champion titles*.

Ried Grubthal, the monopole vineyard of Reinhard Muster
Ried Grubthal, the monopole vineyard of Reinhard Muster ©Muster.Gamlitz

* World champion titles for Ried Grubthal: 

  • Sauvignon Blanc Grubthal 2017 - World’s Best Sauvignon Blanc at the Cathay Pacific Wine & Spirits Competition in Hong Kong

  • Sauvignon Blanc Grubthal 2013 – Gold – Concours Mondial Du Sauvignon (now Sauvignon Selection by CMB)

  • Sauvignon Blanc Grubhtal 2013 – Austria’s Best Sauvignon Blanc Winery – New York International Wine Competition

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About Muster.Gamlitz

In just a few years, Reinhard Muster has developed from a small five-hectare winegrower into an important player in Steiermark, largely outside of the public eye. Muster today cultivates more than 50 hectares of vineyards in and around Gamlitz. The quiet, respectful winegrower sorts his wines into three ranges. “Klassik“ is his description for fruit-forward, quaffable wines with the trademark freshness of Südsteiermark. The “Reverenz” line features wines from especially ripe grapes, leading to a bit more power and playroom in the vintage, which are only released onto market after extended bottle maturation. The most extract-rich wines are the single Ried wines, at the top of the quality pyramid. The Ried Grubthal monopole site, with the south-by-southwest exposure of its basin-like face at the foot of the estate, has particularly captured his fancy.

MUSTER.GAMLITZ GmbH

Grubtal 14

8462 Gamlitz

MUSTER.GAMLITZ

Reinhard Muster
Bettina Bäck von Wine+Partners
Bettina Bäck
Senior Project Manager

Bettina has been with Wine&Partners since 2002, with countless projects domestic and international under her belt. She currently manages sommelier world champion Marc Almert, the culinary think tank Koch.Campus, the Styrian wineries Weingut Muster.Gamlitz, Weingut Langmann and the STK wineries, the culinary concept store Kärntnerei and the Kozlović wine estate in Istria.