is zierfandler on the way up once more?

gebeshuber’s ried modler catches the experts’ attention

zierfandler has seen better days. highly regarded up until the 1950s, one has heard hardly anything about the variety in recent decades. but quite recently, signs are becoming increasingly apparent that there’s about to be a renaissance. one wine that has recently received high praise is johannes gebeshuber’s 2016 zierfandler from the single vineyard ried modler. this career-changer sets his sights on getting the greatest possible finesse & elegance from the variety. and he seems to have succeeded. at any rate, he has garnered top evaluations on every level.

top scores for gebeshuber zierfandler ried modler 2016 (organic):

  • falstaff: with 94 points, gebeshuber zierfandler modler 2016 is the highest-rated wine from the thermenregion in falstaff’s current wein guide 2018/19
  • gault&millau austria 2019: 18 points (highest rating up till now)
  • a la carte: 95 points (highest rating up till now)
  • vinaria: 4 out of 5 stars since the 2010 vintage; gebeshuber zierfandler ried modler consistently praised with appreciably more than 90 points.


all or nothing

anybody who manages a wine estate in the idyllic town of gumpoldskirchen (30 kilometres south of vienna) either completely ignores zierfandler, or concentrates fully and totally on this white rarity. charismatic winegrower johannes gebeshuber (50) belongs to the second category.

since founding his estate twenty years ago, johannes has been working with the variety zierfandler – some of his vines as much as eighty years old. at the beginning, gebeshuber blended it into a cuvée, as had always been the common practice. it was in 2004 that he first focused on the fullbodied and enlivening variety, and for the first time vinified a monovarietal zierfandler.

which did not taste good to him.

too much tannin, too much oak, too closed – this was how gebeshuber critiqued his zierfandler. ‘today, after fourteen years, it tastes good. the wine is now ready to drink’, he says. (at this point the confidence is betrayed that there are 100 bottles remaining from the now-mature première bottling).

for six years following, gebeshuber didn’t produce a monovarietal zierfandler. but as he came, little by little, to address the concept of single-vineyard wines, a monovarietal zierfandler from ried modler reappeared with the 2010 vintage. 2016 – the seventh vintage of gebeshuber zierfandler ried modler – tastes, according to the falstaff wein guide 2018/2019, like ‘fine, yellow

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