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The wines of Umathum, Burgenland, Austria

Wineanorak.com

Josef Umathum is one of Austria's best known red wine makers. Austrian varieties St. Laurent, Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch are the specialities here. Remarkably, the terraced vineyards in the village of Jois that Umathum cultivates date back to 1214.

These are serious wines that deserve broader recognition than their small production and relatively high prices permits outside Austria. You get the impression that if they were French, they'd be much better known.

Umathum Pinot Noir Unter den Terrassen 2005
A sweet, soft, spicy wine that's nicely expressive. Good concentration, but it isn't heavy. 90/100

Umathum St. Laurent vom Stein 2003
Lifted aromatic nose with a herby edge to the dark fruits. Beautifully perfumed and expressive. Bright open fruit on the palate: sweet cherries and blackberries with a hint of spice. Full and expressive. 93/100

Umathum Zweigelt Ried Hallebühl 2003
Elegant sweet perfumed nose of dark cherries. The palate is broad and full with great concentration of dark fruits showing lovely purity and a hint of nimeraliness. Sweet and forward. 92/100

Umathum Blaufränkisch Kirschgarten 2003
Smooth, supple, dark and chocolatey. Quite elegant. There's some spicy seriousness, too. The palate is concentrated, mineralic and spicy with smooth, elegant dark fruits. Very pure. 94/100