Schloss Gobelsburg, situated close to the town of Langenlois, is the oldest and best wine producer in the region of Kamptal. Kamptal lies between Linz and Vienna, and it is one of the three adjacent regions which make the finest wines in Austria, the other two being Wachau and Kremstal, all enjoying both the scenic magnificence and vinous potential offered by the River Danube. Schloss Gobelsburg’s history was influenced both by the Hapsburg Emperors, who built the eponymous castle in the 16th century, and the Cistercian monks, who introduced vines as far back as 1171. Which leads me to one of the greatest wineries in all of Austria- Schloss Gobelsburg. Schloss means ‘castle’ in German though the winery with its Baroque styling is closer to a French Château than a moat-ringed throwback to the days of catapults and sieges. There is one exception to this: History. After changing hands many times the Castle Gobelsburg was purchased by a Cistercian Abbey in 1740. The Monks produced the wine and tended the vineyards continuously until 1992, save for a brief interruption while it was occupied by both French prisoners and the Russian army in World War II. The promise and quality of the wines of Schloss Gobelsburg rose and fell with the interest and talents of the monks over the centuries, but two things were always of the highest quality- the soil and the climate. And so in 1992 when the Cistercian monks felt they could no longer effectively manage the vineyards they turned to the unquestioned superstar of Austrian wine Willie Brundlmayer. Brundlemayer brought along a young man by the name of Michael Moosbrugger and tutored him in all things wine for the first five years. In the time since, Moosbrugger and Schloss Gobelsburg have won countless awards in Europe and beyond. The wines are generally regarded as some of the greatest examples of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner not only in the Kamptal region of northern Austria, but in the entire world.
Light to medium garnet in the glass, this barrel sample smells of brown sugar and dried black cherries. In the mouth woody and leathery cherry flavors mix with very faint, soft tannins. There’s something a bit odd about the red fruit flavors in this wine, not in a bad way, but they are a bit exotic and difficult to describe. Like the wine has been filtered through incense or something. Interesting.