Riesling Kitzeck-Sausal – 2018

Region: Austria - Südsteiermark


On some of the highest and steepest winegrowing slopes in all of Central Europe, where winegrowing was documented as early as 1757, a pair of brothers continue their family tradition. Bernhard and Stefan Schauer have taken over the reins of their family’s winery and brought their own passion to this corner of Südsteiermark in southern Austria. Records in the village church document the early winemaking of the Schauer family. Once a farm of mixed agriculture, the crop is now grapevines. Grown on the top of hillsides, the vines thrive in the slate and schist-rich soil.

Since the beginning, there has always been a Schauer family winemaker overseeing viticulture and winemaking in Kitzeck-Sausal. Both the great-grandfather and grandfather of the present generation were farmers and made wine. In 1980, Karl Schauer completed the conversion of all farming to grapevines. In 2010, he passed primary responsibility for the estate to sons Stefan and Bernhard. The brothers are passionate winegrowers who always work together, in the vineyards, in the cellar, or in their parents’ Buschenschank (traditional Austrian wine tavern) and guesthouse. Stefan is the winemaker and runs the winery with Bernhard, who handles marketing and all administration. They have grown the winery quickly in the past several years: from 25 acres /10 hectares in 2010 to 70 acres/28 hectares in 2019.


92 Points

The 2018 Riesling Kitzeck-Sausal is fascinatingly pure and flinty on the nose, where discreet and bright fruit aromas intertwine with crunchy slate aromas. Medium-bodied, pure and elegant on the palate, this is a seriously structured but lush and juicy dry Riesling with perfect roundness and balance. The 2018 already drinks well, but it can be kept for a decade or more. An excellent dry Riesling from the exciting Kitzeck terroir that combines altitude and freshness with pure slate soils. 12.5% alcohol. Drink 2019 – 2030

© Wine Advocate, October, 2019
91 Points

A lovely touch of flinty reduction still plays amid the savory, herbal, citric notions of this beautifully aromatic Riesling. The palate takes up a certain playfulness and flits across the tongue with a light, easy, vivid step. Despite the 2018 ripeness, there is a breeziness that promises full, lasting and uplifting refreshment.

Wine Enthusiast, March, 2020