Weinlaubenhof Kracher

Kracher Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria

There are no secrets to the production of Kracher’s unparalleled range of remarkable sweet wines, headlined of course each year by up to a dozen or more trockenbeerenauslese cuvées. For three generations the Kracher family has led the way in the Seewinkel, that corner (winkel) of Austria to the east of Lake Neusiedl, just an hour’s drive from Vienna. It was Alois Kracher Senior, back in the ‘50s and ‘60s who first realised the potential of the area for quality wine growing. Then in 1991, Alois Junior (Luis) set the world on fire with his ‘new’ style of dessert wine, focussing on finesse and balance more than just outright sweetness. From there he went on to win the British Wine Journal’s ‘Winemaker of the Year’ title 5 times, before his untimely passing in 2007.

‘Gerhard Kracher, genius of the Trockenbeerenauslese category’
Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com.

Luis’ son Gerhard has now been running the estate for a decade and has deftly picked up where his father left off, winning the International Wine Challenge ‘Sweet Winemaker of the Year’ award in 2009. Each year though, the recipe remains the same, driven by a relentless attention to detail. In the vineyard yields are kept incredibly low with each vine limited to just 3 bunches of grapes. In the cellar, each individual parcel is vinified separately, often in lots as small as a hundred litres or so. Malolactic fermentation is avoided to retain the grapes’ high natural acidity and sulphur use is kept to a minimum. Two styles of TBA are produced: Zwischen den Seen (between the lakes), vinified in stainless steel or large oak casks; and Nouvelle Vague (new wave), vinified in French oak barriques.

Alongside the world-famous TBAs, Kracher also makes a vibrant Auslese Cuvée, that is both great value and great drinking, an always brilliant Beerenauslese Cuvée and an exciting new Ice Wine from Transylvania. And although sweet wines have long been Kracher’s forte, today its dry wines are earning considerable acclaim, with its Pinot Gris, Welschreisling and Zweigelt gaining an enthusiastic following for quality and outstanding value.

What makes the wines so special?

The Seewinkel is an area in the Burgenland region of eastern Austria, approximately 20 km wide, along the eastern shore of Lake Neusiedl. It is an immense plain, with countless shallow lakes of various sizes scattered throughout it. Most of these lakes, including the largest, Lake Neusiedl, are less than two metres deep. The Pannonian (continental) climate brings hot dry summers and very cold winters and it is these extremes that create a unique climate for viticulture. During cool autumn evenings, evaporation from the numerous lakes creates heavy fog, which covers the area until midday when the still strong sunlight burns through. This helps to create the necessary conditions for the formation of the noble rot, botrytis cinerea, that is the key to the immense concentration, sweetness and complexity of the greatest sweet wines.

Current Releases

‘2016 was also a dramatic year for Kracher since he already lost 80% of the crop in spring because of the frost. The wine quality, however, is excellent.’
Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com.

2016 Kracher Welschriesling
100% Welschriesling, fermented and matured on fine lees for 14 months in stainless steel tanks.

‘Harvested at the end of September, fermented and aged on the lees in stainless steel for 14 months and bottled at the end of November, just four weeks before I tasted it, the 2016 Welschriesling Trocken has a clear and ripe nose with earthy/stony aromas. Medium to full-bodied, this is an elegant, dense and well-structured Welschriesling with fine tannins (like the noble sweet wine TBA) and a long finish. This should be excellent with food. Drink 2018-2025.’ 88 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

2015 Kracher Pinot Gris
100% Pinot Gris, fermented and matured on fine lees for 7 months in stainless steel tanks.

‘Kracher’s 2015 Pinot Gris offers a clear and aromatic Pinot bouquet of white and red-skinned fruits. Very clear and intense on the palate, this is a full-bodied, elegant and very aromatic wine with a nice freshness, but also a remarkable richness and the power of 13.8% alcohol. Spectacular in its fruit intensity. Drink 2016-2020.’ 87+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, April 2016.

2016 Kracher Zweigelt
100% Zweigelt (Blaufrankisch x Sankt Laurent), fermented in stainless steel tanks, then matured for 24 months in seasoned oak barriques.

‘Aged for two years in used barriques, the 2015 Zweigelt Trocken has an intense and plummy yet elegant, precise and fresh nose with dark berry aromas. Silky and elegant on the palate, this is a perfectly ripe, pretty intense, persistent, really fine and spicy Zweigelt with fine tannins and remarkable finesse. Drink 2018-2027.’ 88 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

2017 Kracher Auslese Cuvée
12% Alc/Vol; 71.8 g/l RS; 6.1 g/l TA.
60% Welschriesling and 40% Chardonnay, fermented and matured for 11 months in stainless steel tanks.

Medium yellow with green highlights. Aromas of freshly cut quince and fig lead to a lovely, finely textured palate, showing good volume of flavour with a succulent mandarin and passionfruit edge adding vibrancy. Finishes with excellent length and refreshing acidity. Delightfully elegant and eminently drinkable.

2016 Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvée
12% Alc/Vol; 133.5 g/l RS; 7.1 g/l TA.
60% Welschriesling and 40% Chardonnay, 85% fermented and matured for 12 months in stainless steel tanks, 15% in large oak casks.

The 2016 Cuvée Beerenauslese blends 40% Chardonnay with 60% Welschriesling and opens with a beautifully clear and aromatic bouquet of ripe, fresh pineapples, mirabelles and quinces. On the palate, this is a well-concentrated, refreshing and elegant BA with good tension, grip and 12% alcohol. The wine is pretty long. Drink 2018-2030.‘ 88 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

2016 Liliac & Kracher Transylvanian Ice Wine
11.5% Alc/Vol; 161.5 g/l RS; 7 g/l TA.
71% Neuburger, 23% Pinot Gris and 6% Muscat Ottonel, fermented and matured for 16 months in stainless steel tanks.

‘This is a joint venture between Rudolf Krizan, the winemaker at Liliac in Romania, and Gerhard Kracher of Austrian fame. Kracher, indicating that climate change makes it “harder and harder to produce ice wine in the Burgenland,” joins Krizan in making a wine in Romania, where, they thought, “this region offers the perfect conditions to produce this kind of wine every single year.”

The 2016 Ice Wine is a blend of 23% Pinot Gris, 71% Neuburger and 6% Muscat Ottonel, all unoaked. It comes in with 161 grams per liter of residual sugar, 7 grams of total acidity and 11.5% alcohol. Clean and bright, this isn’t on the heavy or unctuous side, but it lingers nicely, the finish laced with pineapple and peach nuances. It is pretty delicious, the lifted fruit all the more appealing because the wine is so fresh. As it warms, it shows gentle tension on the finish. The balance makes it easy to drink and hard to resist. These tend to age well, but this obviously has little track record. Let’s start here and see where we are when we get there. Drink 2017-2030.’ 90 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, December 2017.

NV Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese Noble Reserve
10.5% Alc/Vol; 194.4 g/l RS; 7.2 g/l TA.
55% Welschriesling, 40% Chardonnay and 5% Traminer, blended from several vintages and matured in seasoned French oak barriques and large oak casks.

Aged in large oak and used barriques, the NV Trockenbeerenauslese “Noble Reserve” (LN 9499/14) is based mainly on the 2013 vintage, with smaller portions of the 2012 and 2014 vintages, and blends 55% Welschriesling with 40% Chardonnay and 5% Traminer. The wine has an intense golden-apricot color and offers spicy, well-concentrated and candied pink grapefruit as well as citrus-fresh fruit aromas on the nose that are intermixed with quince, apricot and exotic spicy notes. Lush and fine on the palate, this is a generous, complex and elegant TBA with lovely piquancy and persistent structure. 10.5% alcohol. Drink 2018-2030.90 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

2015 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 1 Rosenmuskateller Nouvelle Vague
12.5% Alc/Vol; 132.4 g/l RS; 5.6 g/l TA.
100% Rosenmuskateller, fermented and matured for 14 months in new French oak barriques.

The 2015 (Trockenbeerenauslese) No 1 (Rosenmuskateller) Nouvelle Vague has a bright cherry color and opens with a delicate bouquet of rose petals and red fruits, such as stewed and roasted plums, with cloves and other Christmas spices. On the palate, this is an intense, pure and elegant TBA with fine tannins and a long, spicy (cloves) finish with roasted plum flavors. This is not overly sweet (132 grams of residual sugar) but is beautifully balanced. Although the acidity is analytically not really significant, the wine has a lovely freshness and elegance. Drink 2018-2040.92 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018. 

2015 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 3 Zweigelt Nouvelle Vague
9.5% Alc/Vol; 208.1 g/l RS; 7.2 g/l TA.
100% Zweigelt, fermented and matured for 16 months in new French oak barriques.

Fermented and aged for 16 months in new barriques, the Trockenbeerenauslese No 3 Zweigelt Nouvelle Vague has a dark cherry color and delivers beautifully warm and toasted ripe plum and red berry aromas to the slightly smoky nose. This is a very elegant and finessed TBA with remarkable balance. The tannins are very fine, while the finish is very long and elegant. Orange zest gives a beautiful bitterness in the aftertaste. The sweetness of 208 grams of residual sugar is perfectly integrated, and provides a splendid roundness. Like the Rosenmuskateller, the Zweigelt also comes along with Christmas flavors. Drink 2018-2040. 94 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

2015 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 6 Grande Cuvée Nouvelle Vague
10.0% Alc/Vol; 238.8 g/l RS; 7.3 g/l TA.
70% Chardonnay and 30% Welschriesling, the Chardonnay fermented and matured for 18 months in new French oak barriques, the Weslchriesling likewise but in one new 1000 litre oak cask.

The 2015 Trockenbeerenauslese No 6 “Grande Cuvée” Nouvelle Vague is a blend of barrel-fermented Chardonnay (70%) and Welschriesling (30%) that was aged in a 1,000-liter oak vat, both parts for 18 months. The wine offers a very clear, precise, fresh, intense and really distinctive bouquet with aromas of stewed quinces and lemons. On the palate, this is a highly delicate and perfectly balanced TBA with great finesse and purity (despite its high concentration). The acidity is very fine and persistently salty, and if there are any tannins, these are very fine too. A great elegant, finessed, beautifully balanced TBA. Drink 2018-2050. 95 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

2015 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 10 Scheurebe Zwischen den Seen
8.0% Alc/Vol; 289.3 g/l RS; 8.3 g/l TA.
100% Scheurebe, fermented and matured for 18 months in stainless steel tanks.

The 2015 Trockenbeerenauslese No 10 Scheurebe Zwischen den Seen has an intense golden color and reveals an intense and concentrated bouquet of zesty grapefruit, paprika and even earthy aromas. Rich and concentrated but also fresh and salty on the palate, this is a very elegant and piquant, vital, even mineral and salty-flavored Scheurebe that reveals a stunning purity, even with the sweetness of 289 grams per liter. Bottled with 8% alcohol. Drink 2018-2050. 95 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

2015 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 11 Welschriesling Zwischen den Seen
6.5% Alc/Vol; 313.1 g/l RS; 6.4 g/l TA.
100% Welschriesling, fermented and matured for 18 months in stainless steel tanks.

Aged for 18 months in stainless steel, the 2015 Trockenbeerenauslese No 11 Welschriesling Zwischen den Seen is precise and spicy on the concentrated yet highly refined and even subtle nose. Rich and nobly sweet on the palate, this is a lush and highly elegant as well as finessed Welsch with really fine tannins and a lovely freshness. The acidity is vital but integrated, and the wine has remarkable balance even though the residual sugar weighs in at 313 grams per liter. Bottled with 6.5% alcohol. Drink 2025-2050. 96 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, February 2018.

Museum Wines

2010 Kracher Auslese Muskat Ottonel
12.0% Alc/Vol; 74.0 g/l RS; 5.7 g/l TA.

‘Aromas of candied apricot, hazelnut, nutmeg, grapefruit zest and honeyed peach. Animated white stone fruit flavors are complicated by a subtle herbal character. Elegantly structured wine with juicy acidity leavening the rich sweetness.’ 89 points, Joel Payne, Vinous, December 2013.

2010 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 3 Scheurebe Zwischen den Seen
11.0% Alc/Vol; 215.0 g/l RS; 10.5 g/l TA.
100% Scheurebe, fermented and matured for 18 months in stainless steel tanks.

The 2010 #3 Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese Zwischen den Seen is a product of a vintage in which the estate lost a whopping 50% of the production because of poor weather during flowering. Passion fruit, wild flowers, lime and crushed rocks emerge over time, but it is the wine’s insistent minerality that stands out most. The 2010 was aged in stainless steel. Residual sugar is 215 grams, all of which the 2010 handles with grace. This is a magnificent showing. Drink 2013-2030. 96 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, June 2013.

2010 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 6 Grande Cuvée Nouvelle Vague
10.5% Alc/Vol; 204.4 g/l RS; 9.4 g/l TA.
60% Chardonnay and 40% Welschriesling, the Chardonnay fermented and matured for 20 months in new French oak barriques, the Weslchriesling likewise but in one new 1000 litre oak cask.

Another utterly magnificent wine, 2010 #6 Grand Cuvée Trockenbeerenauslese Nouvelle Vague is flat-out great. Savory notes lead to honey, chamomile, apricot jam and earthiness in a wine that shows the explosive, exuberant style of the year. New French oak gives the #6, a Chardonnay/Welschriesling blend, its soft contours, and warm, resonant personality. It is exceedingly rare to find a wine that is so concentrated yet equally delineated and nuanced, but it’s all there in the glass. Drink 2013-2030. 97 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, June 2013.

2010 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 7 Welschriesling Zwischen den Seen
10.0% Alc/Vol; 245.9 g/l RS; 9.7 g/l TA.
100% Welschriesling, fermented and matured for 18 months in stainless steel tanks.

The 2010 Welschriesling Trockenbeerenauslese No 7 Zwischen den Seen offers a subtle and fresh yet intense and spicy bouquet; aromas of candied oranges and lemons mix with flavors of rocket and green olives, filled with almond slices. This is lovely, elegant, piquant and delicate, probably less complex TBA compared to the barrel-aged Nouvelle Vague style. However, this is leaner and full of tension; the finish is extremely salty, piquant and long. This is great TBA made for decades. Drink 2020-2040. 95+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, April 2016.

2009 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 3 Welschriesling Zwischen den Seen
10.0% Alc/Vol; 200.2 g/l RS; 6.2 g/l TA.
100% Welschriesling, fermented and matured for 20 months in stainless steel tanks.

Medium yellow-green with gold reflections. Fine nuances of candied orange zest, delicate smoky notes, hints of honeydew melons, delicate herbal spice, still very young bouquet, multi-faceted. Juicy, good complexity, hints of yellow stone fruit, very elegant, perfect acidity, all on the elegant, fine side of Welschriesling. Palate-coating intensity, with a fine nougat note on the finish. 95 points, Peter Moser, Falstaff, July 2012.

2009 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 4 Muskat Ottonel Zwischen den Seen
11.0% Alc/Vol; 195.7 g/l RS; 6.5 g/l TA.
100% Muskat Ottonel, fermented and matured for 18 months in stainless steel tanks.

‘Strong golden yellow. Intense nutmeg, floral nuances, delicate grapefruit notes, with a delicate ethereal touch. Sparkling clean, juicy, intense tropical fruit, well integrated sweetness, with some fine honey notes.’ 92 points, Peter Moser, Falstaff, July 2012.

2009 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 6 Grande Cuvée Nouvelle Vague
11.5% Alc/Vol; 195.2 g/l RS; 7.2 g/l TA.
80% Welschriesling and 20% Chardonnay, the Chardonnay fermented and matured for 20 months in new French oak barriques, the Weslchriesling likewise but in one new 1000 litre oak cask.

The 2009 Grande Cuvée Trockenbeerenauslese No 6 Nouvelle Vague is made from barrel-fermented 80% Welschriesling and 20% Chardonnay, and offers a very interesting and spicy bouquet with orange flavors. Rich and firm on the palate, this is a serious, food-friendly and salty TBA made to be served with venison, goose and Peking duck. Drink 2020-2035.93 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, April 2016.

2009 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 7 Rosenmuskateller Nouvelle Vague
10.5% Alc/Vol; 227.3 g/l RS; 7.4 g/l TA.
100% Rosenmuskateller, fermented and matured for 16 months in new French oak barriques.

‘Bright orange red colour, with red reflections. Fine apricot, fresh cherries, delicate spice notes, very tempting bouquet. Juicy stone fruit notes, delicate smoky nuances, fine structure, elegant integrated sweetness, lovely finesse and balance.’ 93 points, Peter Moser, Falstaff, July 2012.

2009 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 10 Scheurebe Zwischen den Seen
6.5% Alc/Vol; 284.1 g/l RS; 9.3 g/l TA.
100% Scheurebe, fermented and matured for 20 months in stainless steel tanks.

The 2009 Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese No 10 Zwischen den Seen offers a very clear and elegant bouquet with grapefruit, orange and date aromas intermixed with spicy and peppery flavors. Very elegant and sweet on the palate, with a nice acidity and fine tannins, this is a very aromatic and well balanced TBA. This is surely one of the most delicate TBAs of the vintage. Drink 2016-2035. 93 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, April 2016.

2008 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 6 Grande Cuvée Nouvelle Vague
10.5% Alc/Vol; 212.3 g/l RS; 9.2 g/l TA.
70% Welschriesling and 30% Chardonnay, the Chardonnay fermented and matured for 22 months in new French oak barriques, the Weslchriesling likewise but in one new 1000 litre oak cask.

‘Strong yellow gold. Complex nose of candied orange zest, apricot, figs and dates with a hint of vanilla. Rich and concentrated in the mouth with preserved lemon flavours, not dissimilar to Sauternes, though with extra notes of mango and honeydew, with very well integrated new oak. Fine tropical fruit notes on the finish, with pineapple, lemon and yellow peach. Very good ageing potential.’ 95 points, Peter Moser, Falstaff, July 2011.

2004 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 1 Zweigelt Nouvelle Vague
13.0% Alc/Vol; 167.7 g/l RS; 8.2 g/l TA.
100% Zweigelt, fermented and matured for 22 months in new French oak barriques.

Medium brick red, delicate ochre touch. In the nose fine citrus and orange zest, fine red berry notes, delicate tobacco touch. Overall, rather reserved bouquet. Fresh on the palate, very lively structured, fresh cherries, delicate gingerbread, notes of allspice and anise, complex, soft, silky tannins, already drinking well, finishes with a note of fresh plums.93 points, Peter Moser, Vinous, November 2006.

2004 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 2 Welschriesling Zwischen den Seen
11.0% Alc/Vol; 171.1 g/l RS; 7.4 g/l TA.
100% Welschriesling, fermented and matured for 20 months in stainless steel tanks.

The brilliantly green-gold 2004 #2 Welschriesling Trockenbeerenauslese Zwischen den Seen shimmers as much on the palate as it does in the glass. A profusion of fresh pineapple backed by apricot, honey, and vanilla is checked in its sweetness by refreshing acidity and subtle quinine bitterness. This beauty possesses a nobility of botrytis – yeasty, truffly, musky, ultimately ineffable – that would have been very much at home in the Rhine basin in 1971. The balance of this wine guarantees that it will not fatigue; its hidden 171 grams of residual sugar suggest that when and if you bring it into direct conjunction with a dessert, it probably won’t wimp out. 93 points, David Schildknecht, RobertParker.com, June 2008.

2004 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 3 Traminer Nouvelle Vague
12.0% Alc/Vol; 175.9 g/l RS; 5.4 g/l TA.
100% Traminer, fermented and matured for 22 months in new French oak barriques.

Deep golden yellow. Varietally expressive aromas of orange zest, rose oil and smoke. Powerful, full-bodied and brooding, and still in need of time to digest its oak spice. Tannins give this wine a velvety texture. Lingering flavors of minerals and rose. This calls for a good five years of patience. Drink 2011-2025. 92 points, Peter Moser, Vinous, November 2006. 

2004 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 4 Scheurebe Zwischen den Seen
14.0% Alc/Vol; 160.5 g/l RS; 7.0 g/l TA.
100% Scheurebe, fermented and matured for 22 months in stainless steel tanks.

You can’t help but think of Alois Kracher’s description of Scheurebe as “my Riesling” when you taste his 2004 #4 Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese Zwischen den Seen. A concentration of lemon and grapefruit gives this wine an electric presence. Distilled black fruits, ginger, fresh peach, caramelized pineapple, mineral salts, and a liqueur-like herbal essence add ravishing complexity and succulence and the finish is brash and brassy in the manner of a trumpet choir. Then comes a revelation: this wine has 14% alcohol. How could it? Talk about sublimation in the service of art! The alcohol seems to have been burned as fuel. 94 points, David Schildknecht, RobertParker.com, June 2008.

2001 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 2 Muskat Ottonel Zwischen den Seen
9.5% Alc/Vol; 210.9 g/l RS; 5.6 g/l TA.
100% Muskat Ottonel, fermented and matured for 18 months in stainless steel tanks.

Strong nutmeg-spiciness on the nose, with grapeseed and delicate honey notes. Full bodied palate with lovely orange peel notes and a salty, mineral nuance. Finishes with excellent length and impeccable balance.

2001 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 4 Scheurebe Zwischen den Seen
11.0% Alc/Vol; 203.6 g/l RS; 9.1 g/l TA.
100% Scheurebe, fermented and matured for 18 months in stainless steel tanks.

‘Strong yellow gold. In the nose inviting exotic notes of kiwi fruit and white berries, elegant, with a hint of blossom honey. Has enormous polish, finesse, acidity and structure, already very drink-stimulating. A very good example of Scheurebe, well executed.’ 93 points, Peter Moser, Falstaff, March 2006.

2000 Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese No. 7 Chardonnay Nouvelle Vague
7.5% Alc/Vol; 295.9 g/l RS; 6.5 g/l TA.
100% Chardonnay, fermented and matured for 24 months in new French oak barriques.

Butterscotch, cream, and peaches are found in the nose of the syrupy 2000 #7 Chardonnay Trockenbeerenauslese Nouvelle Vague (7.5% alcohol, 295.9 grams residual sugar/liter, and 6.5 grams/liter total acidity). This creamy textured wine’s mouth-feel is as soft as a goose down pillow. Its thick, full-bodied character has flavors reminiscent of butterscotch squares whipped into condensed milk. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. This effort, because of its monstrous levels of residual sugar and low alcohol, is a dessert more than a wine … yet is immensely impressive! 94 points, Pierre Rovani, RobertParker.com, October 2003.