Updated: Jun 12, 2021
13.5% abv. Großhöflein, Burgenland
Kollwentz has 3.2 hectares of vines dedicated exclusively to Chardonnay growing in the highest vineyard in the Leitha Hills. "Gloria", sitting at 325 meters above sea level, was first mentioned in 1570 and is arguably one of Burgenland's best vineyards for producing sultry, mineral driven Chardonnay. But 2017 was a challenging vintage: a long cold winter brought deep snow and freezing temperatures to the Leitha Hills which was capped off by nervewracking frosts in April and May. Bud break and flowering were delayed resulting in much lower yields and potentially smaller berries with thinner skins. Fortunately, a scorching sun in August delivered some badly needed warmth to the vines and saved what could have been a disaster for Chardonnay-lovers across Austria. The challenges of producing world class chardonnay at this altitude where vines are sheltered by thick forest on all sides can prove exceptionally difficult, however. In the glass the wine is a bold golden yellow colour. The nose is austere and bristling with lemon zest and acidity. After an hour decant, more appealing notes of green apple, butterscotch, creme caramel and lemon rise to the forefront. On the palate, the wine is nervous and angular with a backbone of stone-blasted minerality leaving little room for joy or comfort. Medium body but a touch more concentration is needed. The balance also seems slightly off kilter: what's missing is that gorgeous plush, well-rounded mouthfeel Kollwentz's chardonnay usually displays in spades. This feels like it is just on the cusp of approachability. In warmer vintages, Gloria is an exotic, ebullient wine that is a sheer joy to drink. At this point in time, best leave this sleeping giant for a few more years in the cellar. Drinking window 2024 - 2035.
Rating: * * *
Price: 58 EURO