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Heinz Velich Welschriesling Trockenbeerenauslese 2009 (375ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

99-100 WA

Picked at 42° KMW and aged in two barriques until this year, without the addition of sulfur for almost 13 years and still yet to be bottled, the 2009 Welschriesling Trockenbeerenauslese displays an amber color with greenish reflections. The bouquet is exciting in its intensity, purity and complexity, with salty caramel and malty/balsamic notes with orange and black tea aromas emerging from the glass. This is a highly refined and elegant TBA with stunning finesse, saline freshness and caramel and malty notes. This is a gorgeous, highly stimulating TBA of exceptional quality. Tasted as a sample in July 2022 when the wine had a total of 60 milligrams per liter of SO2; it will be bottled with a total of 100 milligrams per liter this summer or fall. Definitely a wine to have and adore!—Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate

For 20 years, one of Austria's icon producers for Chardonnay is Weingut Velich in Apetlon, Burgenland. Beyond Tight and Darscho, the domaine was also well known for its terrific, spicy and digestible Trockenbeerenauslesen, namely from the local Welschriesling, which were often released much later than the TBAs from neighbors such as Hans Tschida or Kracher. In June, Heinz Velich surprised me with two dark, malt-colored TBAs from the 2009 vintage that had spent 13 years in small barrels. Their color is reminiscent of the 1921 and 1959 TBAs I had in the valleys from Rhine and Mosel, but the nose and also the palate gave an overwhelming impression of what was to be filled either in late summer or in autumn. Both wines haven't lost anything of their sweetness and concentration, but they gained so many more layers of complexity and also finesse that allows us to rank them among Austria's greatest wines of modern history. The richness and oily texture of the Sämling (a.k.a. Scheurebe) is reminiscent of a Spanish PX, whereas the Welschriesling has the savoriness and vitality to uplift its generous, viscous mouthfeel to stunning heights. I hope I will be able to taste both TBAs again after they have been bottled at the end of this year or early next year, but from what I tasted in June from the barrel, these are stylistically unique and unrivaled, qualitatively mind-blowing noble sweet wines that would surely be auctioned if they were German. "However, these are Austrians and nobody will care about them that much. I will probably still sell these wines in a couple of years," said Heinz Velich, with regards to the difficult market situation for high octane wines these days in Europe. Any fine-wine hunter shouldn't miss this opportunity, though! These are wines that taste beautifully today and will still do so in 100 years. —Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate

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