On the recommendation of Tsunami, my wife and I visited this winery on the afternoon we were drinving from Budapest to Vienna. The winery is located in the town of Rust (pronounced Roost). It is a vacation town on the West side of Lake Neusiedl (the famous Kracher estate is on the other side of the lake). The tasting room is open to the public Monday-Saturday 8am to 7pm. No appointment is needed. In the tasting room we met Inge Feiler (wife of the former winemaker/owner, Hans, and mother to the current winemaker, Kurt). She spoke very good English and couldn't have been friendlier.
The estate has been in the Feiler family for over 100 years. Prior to 1947, they sold off their grapes to the cooperative. In 1989, the vineyards owned by the Artinger family were brought into the estate by marriage. 27% of the estate vines are a native Austrian red grape, Blaufrankisch. Kurt has been the winemaker since 1994 after apprenticing at Chateau Cheval Blanc in St. Emilion.
The estate makes a wide range of wines and some of the wines are sold in the US. I was able to taste 16 wines ranging from the 2000-2004 vintages. The stars in the Feiler portfolio are their sweet wines; but, I thought the Reds were also very exciting.
Here are my notes (with the prices being charged at the estate):
2004 Welschriesling Trocken($5.30)- This was a very pretty wine. Aromas of apricot blossoms. Very fresh with lively fruit notes and good acidity. Surprising for the price. 87 points.
2000 Cuvee Gustav Trocken($13.75)- Their top dry white. A blend of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Neuburger (an important white grape variety). This wine is aged in 100% new oak and is rather serious. Any fan of California Chards will flip over this wine. Unfortunately, I am no fan. This showed some heat and spice notes. A fuller nose than the 2001. Compare the price to Cal Chards and you will see what a deal this is. Other would like this better than me. Not my style. 86+ points.
2001 Cuvee Gustav Trocken($13.75)- 13.5% alcohol. Much more to my liking. No heat on the finish. Still a little too much toasted oak for me but it did not seem as heavy as the 2000. 89+ points.
2004 Rose Blaufrankisch Trocken($6.25)- Light bodied and refreshing. A dry wine. Pale rose color. 84-85 points.
2003 Blaufrankisch Umriss Trocken($13.75)- This was my first purchase. I brought it to drink in Austria but never got around to it so I brought it home. This is a single vineyard wine from the Umriss vineyard. 13.5% alcohol and aged in used barrique. Solid red color. Kirsch nose. Bitter red fruit on the midpalate with pepper notes. Long finish. 88 points.
2003 Pinot Noir Trocken($13.75)- One of the few disappointing wines. Light colored and simple. Aged in used oak. Not much character but a pleasant wine. 84-85 points.
2003 Zweigelt & More Trocken($22.50)- Now we are getting into the serious reds. 88% Zweigelt and 12% Cab Sauvignon. Aged in new oak barriques. Full bodied with firm tannins. Notes of black cherry and red meat. Long ripe finish. 90-91 points.
2002 Solitaire Trocken($31.25)- My favorite red. 50% Blaufrankisch, 31% Cab Franc and 18% Zweigelt (although the blend changes every year). Aged in new barrique. Already showing exceptional balance. Chewy texture. A good core of dark fruit with well rounded tannins. Medium to full bodied. You can detect Kurt Feilers Bordeaux training in this wine. I bought this wine. 91-92 points.
2003 Solitaire Trocken($32.50)- If I was looking for potential, this is the wine. However, I loved the allure of the 2002 so I bought that wine and passed on this bottle. A powerful wine. 50% Blaufrankisch, 31% Cab Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Zweigelt. Aged in new oak for 18 months. Extremely ripe. Some licorice on the nose. Rather harsh now and it needs time to come together. Very young with most of the fruit hidden. 89-92+ points.
2003 Welschriesling Auslese($10)- This wine floored me. I could not believe the quality for the price (this is a $25 wine from Germany). 12% alcohol. Aged in stainless steel. A killer tropical fruit and gardenia nose. Clean pure pear notes with some floral overtones. Nicely balanced. Needless to say I bought this. 92 points.
2004 Beerenauslese($12.50/375ml)- A 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Weischriesling. An explosive nose that burst out of the glass. Medium bodied with exotic fruits and some spicy pear and peach notes. A little bit on the sweet side now or it would have scored higher. 90-91 points.
2004 Traminer Beerenauslese($12.50/375ml)- Noticeably less sweet than the regular Beerenauslese. This is 100% Traminer. Tropical fruits and rose petals on the nose. Light bodied. Fruity. It needed a little more acidity. 88 points.
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Beerenauslese($18.75/375ml)- The 1st time I ever saw a Cab Sauvignon BA. This was also the 1st time Feiler has ever made this wine. 2004 was a little wet and they did not like the ripeness of the CS fruit so they left it on the vines to ripen further and botrytis developed so they decided to make a BA. Very intriguing. Rose colored. The wine was fermented on its skins. 13% alcohol. Despite a high sugar level (7.8g/l), the wine was only moderately sweet for a BA. Light texture and medium bodied. You could taste some tannins mixed among the sweet red fruit. I had to buy this. 91+ points.
RUSTER AUSBRUCH WINES- This is the name the Trockenbeerenauslese wines are given in the Rust appellation.
2001 Ruster Ausbruch Pinot Cuvee($23.75/375ml)- A blend of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. This wine just flowed and flowed and flowed. What great balance this showed which is the hallmark of a great sweet wine. Notes of citrus, lemon, apricot and pear nectar. An absolutely stunning QPR as well. Of course I bought this. 93-94 points.
2002 Ruster Ausbruch($23.75/375ml)- Well this just steps it up a notch from the Pinot Cuvee. Now I am getting excited. Sweet but with piercing acidity. A viscous wine with notes of mango, kiwi and papaya. Long finish to cap off a great wine. 94-95 points.
2001 Ruster Ausbruch Welschriesling Essenz($37.50/375ml)- I'm not sure what the winemaking difference between this wine and the regular Ruster Ausbruchs is but there just seemed to be more of everything. More fruit, more sugar, more acidity. 100% Weischriesling. A thick wine. The nose smelled of new carpet and tropical fruits. Concentrated but not cloying. On the finish the wine seemed almost lacey. Beautiful. However, I will caution that this wine is very young and needs time to develop more fully. What a wine it will be though when it does blossom. 95+ points.