Herbert Zillinger – a new Austrian star.

I have tasted the wines of Herbert Zillinger three times over the last year or so. On each occasion I have been blown away by them. I met Zillinger briefly at VieVinum, the biannual showcase Austrian wine fair. He came across as modest and unassuming but very assured when talking about his wines.

Zillinger is based in Weinviertel, a large area in north-eastern Austria, better known for producing decent everyday wines, usually made from Grüner Veltliner. The Zillinger wines are anything but everyday. He and his partner Carmen farm biodynamically in deep loess soils. They work naturally, adding only a small amount of SO2. Zillinger are members of respect-BIODYN, a group of biodynamic producers in Austria, Germany and elsewhere, including some of the very best estates. The results are spectacular. As he writes on his website “we don’t compromise. We create unique wines, wines with a profile, structure and ‘USP”. I am a big fan of Grüner Veltliner from Kamptal; these wines are different but every bit as good.

Wine Mason is the Irish importer. They list four of his wines. I see from his website he produces over a dozen, all in small quantities.

Neuland Grüner Veltliner 2021, Weinviertel
Tight and closed at first, but then explodes with flavour; layers of textured ripe green fruits, lots of ginger spice, and a dry finish. 17/20

€26 from Barnhill Stores, Dalkey, Co. Dublin;; Lilith, Dublin7; La Touche, Greystones; MacCurtain Wine Cellar, Cork; The Wine Pair, Dublin 8; SIX, Dublin 6.

Horizont Grüner Veltliner 2021, Weinviertal
Intense ripe peaches and apricots, with spice aplenty, a very mineral backbone and long finish. Gorgeous wine. 17.5/20

€29-31 from Redmonds, Ranelagh, Dublin 6; La Touche, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

Radikal Grüner Veltliner 2019, Weinviertal
Rich, powerful and exotic with intense honey, pineapple chunks, some herbal notes too. Lingering finish. A sensational wine that will develop further. 18/20

€68-70 from Lilith, 31a Prussia Street, D7.

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