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Freddy Bulmer Freddy Bulmer

The best-kept secret in European wine

2018 was an exceptionally hot vintage, with many producers picking around three weeks earlier than usual, however the best wines have maintained freshness. At first glance, 2018 seems to be a good and upfront vintage which may well suit early drinking rather than ageing.

One of the most exciting new finds is Grabenwerkstatt, a tiny winery (in a garage, in fact!) at the furthest western end of the Wachau valley, where it is cold and harsh. Not the easiest place to make wine and in such a hot vintage as 2018 they have done really well and made generous, taut grüner veltliner and riesling. Quantities are next to nothing so do keep a lookout as and when it becomes available. They are not to be missed and I’m expecting big things from these guys.

Alwin Jurtschitsch has proven himself to be one of the most exciting wine producers in Austria, making glorious pinot noir and grüner. Rainer Wess continues to consistently impress and his Kremstal grüner veltliner is looking excellent this year due to it being the first year it has been made from 100% estate-grown fruit.

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