When national publications name their "Wines of the Year," they are limited by many factors - the biggest of which is the wine's availability. It doesn't make sense for them to drive the public into a frenzy over a bottle of wine that is hardly available.
As a small independent retailer, we have more freedom!
Granted, we also use a different set of criteria. We want outrageous quality for the money, of course, but we also seek respectful winemaking, a wine that speaks of where it comes from and what we call the x-factor - that inexplicable, inexpressible, toe-curling sense of something extraordinary.
Stadlmann's 2006 Zierfandler Mandel-Hoh has all this and more - that's why it's my wine of the year!
No, you've probably never heard of Zierfandler. It's a largely unheard of grape that's basically only grown in Austria's tiny Thermenregion. The Mandel-Hoh vineyard is the world's top site for the grape - this wine should not to be confused with Stadlmann's regular Zierfandler bottling.