Worldclass riesling from one of the regions rising stars. More textural and rounded than its Germany counterparts. Martin Muthenthaler is a name worth seeking out.
- Grape: Riesling
- Region: Wachau, Austria
- Serve temperature: chilled
Master Sommelier's notes
Martin Muthenthaler was a truck driver for Domaine Wachau for 20 years before he started making wine of his own in the Spitzer Graben valley in the famous Wachau region. Since 2006 he has been cultivating the 3 hectares of vines he inherited from his parents, making Grüner Veltliner and Riesling of outstanding balance and expression. The vineyards - all organic since the 2010 vintage - are planted on poor rocky soils at high altitudes. The Spitzer Graben is the coolest part of the Wachau valley, and temperatures are very cool even in the summer, which preserves the freshness and acidity of these classic white varieties while also resulting in significantly lower alcohol levels than other growers in the region - most Muthenthaler wines are at around 12%.
Martin works the steep vineyards entirely on his own, focusing on producing single site bottlings that convey the distinctive character of each vineyard. His parcels in the Bruck and Viesslinger Stern vineyards are some of the highest sites in the Wachau, and his mica-schist soils produce highly mineral and structured Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings. Martin decided not to join the Vinea Wachau - an association that ranks wines in accordance with sugar ripeness levels. Martin strives to make elegant wines that express a sense of place, and for him the ripest grapes don’t always produce the best wines. All fruit is hand harvested by Martin, and fermented spontaneously with ambient yeast.