Winemaker Armin Tement of Austria passed through New York the other day, which gave me a chance to taste some of the most distinctive Sauvignon Blancs being made anywhere in the world (truly). Weingut Tement is located in southern Steiermark (Styria), right against the Slovenian border, on limestone soils that give its Sauvignons distinctive lemon and fennel notes. It isn’t an easy place to grow grapes—according to Tement, it’s both Europe’s coldest wine region and its wettest. But when conditions are right, the wines are superb.
2012 Weingut Tement Sauvignon Blanc Berghausener ($22). The winery’s basic Sauvignon Blanc—lightly herbal but not in a New Zealand green peppery way—is a blend from several local vineyards.
2012 Weingut Tement Sauvignon Blanc Grassnitzberg Erste Lage ($29). Savory and incredibly stony on the finish, this comes from Tement’s coolest vineyard. Armin Tement says, “For me, this wine is like a breeze off the sea, very salty, very elegant.”