Barbara Ohlzelt is turning the region's paradigm completely on its head. Instead of the unctuous, powerful and masculine wines of the famous large estates, Barbara's wines emphasize focus and a quiet, simmering intensity. They are fine, clearly delineated, precisely-etched renditions of Gruner Veltliner and Riesling with just as much depth and persistence as the big boys, but on a lighter, more refreshing frame. They really are like the wines of Weiser-Kunstler, but translated into the dialect of the Kamptal - loess, granite and sandstone, rather than slate. It should go without saying, but of course the wines are loaded with mouth-watering acidity and the alcohol levels are carefully restrained. Barbara is soft-spoken but intense; the wines are not unlike their shepherd. These are racy, delicate wines of purity and energy, and are exactly what the next chapter in the story of Austrian wine should be. The Lamm is a small subsection of the Heiligenstein, an outcropping on the southern side. Barbara is farming only a tiny section here, less than 0.3 hectares of this site! This bottling represents one of the last pickings; only the most perfect fruit was used; the wine fermented in four different barrels from France - after fermentation all the barrels were blended together into a larger stainless steel tank so that the wood quality is not too strong. Barbara's Lamm showcases the most detailed array of dried herbs, for me the signature of great Gruner - freshly cut grass, lemon thyme, dried coriander, cracked pepper, but also a soaring florality. Even the darker-fruited power of Gruner here is lifted by pushing citrus fruit, edging the riper melon and warmer mid-palate, providing definition and energy. Richer, more dense with glycerin, fuller on the palate, this nonetheless has a beautiful energy, it is driven and has great persistence, yet leaves the palate clean and refreshed. Monumental Gruner - if you love the grape it'll remind you why... and if you are in doubt, it will remind you of the potential.

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