In addition, Austria’s growers were able to employ all imaginable means at the right time, so that there was hardly any frost damage reported.
The precipitation in September and the relatively dramatic temperature swings between day and night in the autumn had an appreciably positive influence on the development of aromas. Even from the initial tastings, it could be established with satisfaction that the heat-stress of the summer had left no negative traces in the young wines.
Opulent white wines
The white wines are lively fruit-driven and varietally typical. Analyses find acid levels in Niederösterreich’s leading variety Grüner Veltliner to be somewhat attenuated, but this is hardly apparent to sensory examination, and most of the GVs are characterised by a profound spiciness. Rieslings are remarkable for their racy acidic structure supporting a powerful presence: wines predestined for aging.
Despite advanced ripeness, Sauvignon Blancs project the desirable varietal attributes, which can also be said for Weissburgunder and Chardonnay. Two rather special varieties turned out so well as hardly ever before in 2017: the rare Roter Veltliner and the still-fashionable Gelber Muskateller. The white wines can be compared with 2013, and in some areas even with 2007 or 2006.
Excellent year for red wines
In the Burgenland red wine centre and in the red-producing enclaves of Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), the mood with regard to the quality of the 2017 reds is nothing short of euphoric. Advanced ripeness of the grapes led to the development of deep, dark-berry aromas and fully ripened, velvety tannins.
This summary is true of all red wine regions and grape varieties from Sankt Laurent and Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah not to mention the Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt. Concentrated, vibrant and elegantly structured red wines are maturing comfortably in the cellars. In general, the promising red wine vintage 2017 can be readily compared with 2015 and 2009, and can put even a bit more on the table in terms of fruit aromas. Where Prädikatswein is concerned, the botrytis that developed in 2017 made for impressive nobly sweet wines, in greater volume than 2016. The only downside was that Eiswein could only be harvested in isolated instances.