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Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition 50 Years, Austria

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To celebrate the tradition and culture of 850 years of winemaking at Schloss Gobelsburg, a very special wine was produced. 50 years is a once in a lifetime project using wines from a great number of vintages over the past 50 years. It is derived from the library cellar which included 15,000 bottles dating back to the 1940s.

Vintage 1970 - 1979 . 11% (1970, 71, 73, 74, 77, 79)
Vintage 1980 - 1989 . 12% (1980, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 89)
Vintage 1990 - 1999 . 7% (1991, 93, 94, 96, 98, 99)
Vintage 2000 - 2009 . 37% (2000, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07, 09)
Vintage 2010 - 2017 . 33% (2011,13,14,17)

Grape varieties: Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Grüner Sylvaner, Muskat Sylvaner, Riesling Sylvaner, Welschriesling, Muskat Ottonel, Traminer, Muskateller.

ABV 12.5%

Wine Advocate 98 Points
Wine Advocate: 98 Points Intensely golden-yellow in color the NV Tradition Heritage Cuvée 50 Years Edition 850 blends several grape varieties and a wide range of vintages from the last 50 years starting with the 1970 vintage. The nose opens precise lean and fresh with bright and spicy fruit and flinty notes. On the palate this treasure is crystalline tight reductive and very elegant with a long and tensioned finish. This Jubilee edition reveals remarkable finesse and grip and represents the historical spirit and substance of the castle. Due to the matured wines from the 1970s and 1980s this is a leaner more filigreed style than the newer assemblages that contain only barrel-stored reserve wines from the Michael Moosbrugger era. The wine is doubtlessly very impressive. To create the blend many bottles of the wine library were opened tasted and decanted into small vessels that were then little by little blended into a cuvée. "It demands a clarity of vision and long years of experience with the wines of the Danube River region to compose a cuvée of this style" says Moosbrugger. "The different soils and the various grape varieties demand an understanding of their nature and their functionality in a blend in order to create a wine like this." Thirty-three percent of the cuvée is from vintages of the most recent decade (2011 2013 2014 and 2017) 37% from 2000 2002-2005 2007 and 2009) 7% from the 1990s (1991 1993 1994 1996 1998 1999) 12% from the 1980s (1980 1981-1984 1986 1987 1989) and 11% from the 1970s (1970 1971 1973 1974 1977 und 1979). As Michael Mooesbrugger says "The Jubilee cuvée combines 25 years of monastic culture with 25 years of modern wine culture." (Moosbrugger started at Schloss Gobelsburg in 1996 so exactly 25 years ago.) Grape varieties are not really important here but to make history complete here they are: Grüner Veltliner Riesling Grüner Sylvaner Muskat Sylvaner (Sauvignon Blanc) Riesling Sylvaner (Müller-Thurgau) Welschriesling Muskat Ottonen Trainer and Muskateller (Muscat à petit grains). Tasted in June and September 2021. When in 1740 the Abbey Stift Zwettl a Cistercian detachment in the Waldviertel region of northern Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) acquired the Gobelsburg Castle near Langenlois in the Kamptal for 40000 florins the structure built on a hill had already outlived numerous noble families. The castle was first mentioned in documents as early as 1074?the foundations are still part of the cellar?but the present Renaissance building was constructed around 1725. When the Cistercians purchased the castle they also included lands and vineyards that are still owned by the monastery today. Since 1171 the monastery has cultivated vineyards on the terraced Heiligenstein and on the Zöbinger Gaisberg?two absolute top sites especially for Riesling. It so happens that Schloss Gobelsburg celebrated its 850th birthday as a winery this year. To mark the occasion the monastery and the winery's operators Eva and Michael Moosbrugger had the cellar extended to include a cloister that is unsurpassed in beauty. Designed like a monastery within a monastery the barrel cellar with its light-filled courtyard and brick cross vaults exudes a unique calm even religiosity. Here the wines mature in large wooden barrels and are among the best that are bottled in all of Austria: Riesling Grüner Veltliner Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir) St. Laurent Zweigelt and Merlot and of course sparkling wines. The prices are more than fair with respect to the quality of the wines but also with respect to their traditional production. Even the noblest growths from the first sites such as the Grüner Veltliner from the Riede Lamm or the Rieslings from the Heiligenstein and Gaisberg are priced at 20 to 30 euros per bottle. That is more or less significantly lower than what German winemakers charge for their Grosse Gewächse not to mention the domaines in Burgundy or Italy... The white Kamptal wine a cuvée from various sites planted with Grüner Veltliner already reflects the wine characteristics of the region in exemplary fashion: clear cool and bright fruit combined with great elegance and animatingly spicy structure. The sublime tranquility of the new cellar is already found in this wine which for less than 10 euros is truly not overpaid. One can already tell from this wine which is so to speak the liquid business card of the winery that a winemaker is at work here who does not place himself and his ideas above everything else but who has made it his task to "maintain the wine cultural heritage of Schloss Gobelsburg to develop it further and to pass it on to the next generation." This is exactly what Michael Moosbrugger who comes from a family of hoteliers based on the Arlberg (his brother Florian runs the Hotel Post in Lech) has been doing in many ways since he started 25 years ago. As a winemaker and official of the Austrian Traditionsweingüter (Traditional Wineries) and most recently as a builder he follows the insight that a future for wineries such as Schloss Gobelsburg but also for historic wine-growing regions "will only be found in individuality and independent personality" and that "the maximum amount of individuality can only be achieved through reduction." In accordance with this belief only varieties that have proven their suitability to the natural conditions over decades and centuries are cultivated in the vineyards. Fashionable varieties remain taboo. The cellar also bears witness to the reduction to the essential not only architecturally. It is not machines that move the wines but rollers on which the barrels are moved from one part of the cellar to the next. The wood by the way comes from the Manhartsberg just north of Langenlois. In general?not only out of tradition but also for reasons of taste aesthetics?Moosbrugger feels committed to the winemaking techniques of the early 19th century. For the 850th birthday Moosbrugger once again further developed his excellent Tradition series (Riesling and Grüner Veltliner) prepared in the manner of the 19th century since the 2001 vintage. It is now no longer the taste of the grapes and their processing determined by the vintage and origin that characterizes the taste of the wine but primarily the cellar master. He combines the finished wines of several vintages stored in large wooden barrels into a new completely unique cuvée that is entirely in the tradition of 19th century winemaking. At a castle as historic as the one in Gobelsburg the barrel reserves are joined by a handsome trove of bottled wines from the treasury. In the once harsh climate of Champagne these reserve wines were not only a stylistic device for the cuvées of several wines and vintages which were usually bottled without a vintage but also a kind of insurance against meager harvests. At Gobelsburg the history goes back to 1171 but unfortunately not the wine stock. After Russian soldiers drunkenly emptied the treasury before staggering back to Moscow at the end of World War II only post-war wines remain in the treasury. Fortunately however this period already covers about 75 vintages?enough material to devote oneself to pre-industrial winemaking in the castle cellar. What is derided as a "marketing gag" in neighboring Wachau actually goes back to an idea that has as much to do with marketing as Wachau has to do with science fiction movies. Hardly any winemaker is as well-read in viticultural history as Michael Moosbrugger. He began setting aside barrel reserves as early as 2009 in order to present the 850th vintage of Schloss Gobelsburg a first edition dedicated to the theme of maturity and entirely committed to the cultural heritage of monastic wine culture. Edition 850 of the Tradition/Heritage series comprises three wines: Cuvée 3 Years Cuvée 10 Years and Cuvée 50 Years. For the latter a total of 31 vintages from the period 1970 to 1995 were blended with those from 1996 to 2020. This cuvée which is also unique in taste combines two wine cultures the monastic and the modern. For this purpose filled wines from various sites and grape varieties were taken from the castle's vinotheque tasted and first emptied into small containers that were then gradually blended together to form an assemblage that marries with the second batch to form a delicate highly elegant cuvée that tastes not only fascinatingly matured but also lively and completely unique. However I like the other two cuvées of Edition 850 based on 2018 and 2010 and younger vintages respectively even better. They are two brilliant rich and complex wines of great nobility and expressiveness as well as inner peace. Holiday wines. Despite all the history however one should also keep in mind the outstanding class of the crus (1ÖTW). There is no better Heiligenstein from 2019 and no better Gaisberg than that of Schloss Gobelsburg. One has the impression that the new cellar has once again improved these and other wines of the domaine.
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More Information
Grape type Gruner Veltliner, Riesling
Country/Region Austria/Kamptal
Critics Review James Suckling 99 Points
Incredibly deep and complex this has all the mystery of great white wines that have matured for decades in the bottle but is still lively. Delicate candied-citrus baked-apple and honeycomb aromas but the more you smell this the more you find in it! Sensational concentration and finesse through the long filigree finish. This limited-production blend includes wines from 31 vintages over five decades going back to 1970. There are also 9 grape varieties in there gruner veltliner and riesling forming the base. Drink or hold. - SP
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