Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:11 pm

2005 Prager “Wachstum Bodenstein” Riesling Smaragd -Wachau, Österreich 13,5%

If you made good wine in 2005, I’ve found that you more than likely made great wine (don’t get me started on the amazing F.X. Pichler Rieslings of that year.) The Wachstum Bodenstein Riesling comes from the late-to-ripen Hinterseiber (the better to have weathered the September rain) and includes a melting-pot of different Riesling clones from all over Austria, Germany, and Alsace. I was a little surprised just how rich and almost monolithic this baby was right out of the bottle, but after nearly two hours it jettisoned the baggage and really started to soar! This wine shares the ripe peach and butterkeks savor of Alsatian Riesling (Weinbach Schlossberg maybe) but also has so much mint and cilantro, lily-petal, and gunpowder that I couldn’t properly discern from where it was grown if I was served it blind. After some time, there is still much definition (oddly perhaps the hallmark of the best 2005s) in combination with ripeness and good acidity. It is a remarkable wine and lives up to its billing as one of Austrias best Rieslings.

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:20 pm

Good grief Bill, isn't it rather early to be drinking a Bodenstein? (Great, great wine - I've had the '04 and the '01 in the past, but both were painfully young and taut with years ahead of them.)

Not that I should be talking about patience, after opening a 2006 Hiedler Heiligenstein Riesling (Kamptal, 13.5% alcohol, screwcap - unlike my '07 Hiedler Gaisberg, which is under cork. Grr.)
This one is all about making an impact. Hits you straight away with a scent that suggests that kerosene and diesel were just strained through a bed of rocks, then in the mouth the minerality is so dominant and expansive that it feels more solid than liquid (and certainly doesn't taste like anything that could have come from grapes). With a little air some bright lemon and pear fruit emerges with a faint glyceral sweetness - this is incredibly rich and dense though showing a hint of its alcohol on the back end.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:54 pm

Salil wrote:Good grief Bill, isn't it rather early to be drinking a Bodenstein?


Indeed it is, Salil. We're in the midst of a big move across the pond and I'm afraid that my collection is bearing the brunt of my reluctance to move many of them (back) to the old-world (Wine shouldn't EVER have to endure two trans-atlantic flights. I'm sure that it greatly compromises them.) Sad as it is, I'm going to have to keep popping corks far too soon.

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Dan Donahue » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:26 pm

'03 Peter Schandl Blaufränkisch Trocken. 13%. Around $15 at release.

A new variety for me and usually I can mentally plug any new red grape somewhere on a mainly linear red fruit/blue fruit/black fruit spectrum. I don't know what it is about Austrian wines, but this grape--as with GV--is a challenge to slot in. The fruit is present in abundance and somewhat sweet for a trocken (not rs though) but there are orange, tea and spice components supporting the dark berry flavors. The effect seems to spin the flavor profile off-axis. The end result is very enjoyable and ennui-busting. Good acidity and still some grip in a supple presentation. I think this could be a useful food wine and I definitely would like to try a few more.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bernard Roth » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:25 am

2000 Nigl Privat Riesling Trocken tonight. Deep gold color. Maybe a hint of oxidative evolution. Very tasty, minerally, dry honey, ginger ale w/o effervescence. Finish has a touch of quinine-like bitterness. I'm guessing the gold fruit/honey profile is a vintage character. Drank well with the salmon patties. But on its own, not quite the star I had hoped for.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:37 am

2006 Weingut Hirsch Riesling Gaisberg (Kamptal)
Slightly reductive at first (screwcapped), but opens up really nicely with a bit of air to show bright floral and mineral flavours around a core of incredibly bright, ripe white fruits. Really enjoyable, though the alcohol on the back end does start to make itself felt as this warms up a little.

2004 Alzinger Riesling Smaragd Loibner Steinertal (Wachau)
Awesome. Starts out with barely a suggestion of fruit, just fresh basil, leafy and other herbal and floral scents leading into a palate that's all mineral and rocks with a polished, glossy texture. With some time green apple and grapefruit flavours emerge, fresh and kept really precise with the spine of acid underneath and this disappears all too quickly.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:53 pm

Nigl Kremser Freiheit Grüner Veltliner 2008 -Kremstal, Österreich 12,0%

Per usual, this wine is wonderfully crystalline, with salty, smoky mineral, sweet pea, and white pepper with silvery 2008 acidity. Year in and out, this has got to be among the best entry-level Grüner Veltliners I’ve ever found. -BH

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:17 pm

Thanks Bill. I was wondering about grabbing a bottle of that next time I'm at Table & Vine, probably will as that sounds lovely!
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:33 pm

2006 Knoll Shütt Riesling Smaragd 14 % -Wachau, Österreich

Talk about opening a bottle of wine too soon. I don’t feel especially bad about this one though, because I’m afraid that the higher alcohol Austrian Rieslings of 2006 are never really going to do it for me. We are all aware of the perils of warm vintage Riesling from anywhere, but even the 2003s from Germany have some sugar to ease the transition into maturity (And I think that a lot of us have been pleasantly surprised by a wine or two which we’ve encountered from that vintage lately.) The 2006 Austrian wines may slim down too, and it’s already happened to a degree, but they will always have to contend with all of that alcohol. The dry wines that the Wachau produces just are not, in my opinion, compatible with weather like that (though Grüner fares better than Riesling.) Alsace, and to a lesser degree the Pfalz, Rheingau, and Rheinhessen have experienced warm vintages too, but have for the most part handled these hurdles more deftly. I don’t want to take anything away from Knoll (or anyone else), as they are one of my favorite producers in Austria, and certainly one of the elite Riesling producers the world over, but this wine is very hard to enjoy.

Double decanted over a period of two hours, but it is difficult to discern much through the alcohol than a dry honey and aloe haze (I switched to a different glass and it helped -I am sooo not a Riedel disciple, but in this case I’ll try anything.) There is almond, lentil, and canola oil with only hints of bosc pear. Meursault les Clous creamy and zero discernable acid. I had to check: 95 points Schildknecht. WTF!?!

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:38 pm

Salil wrote:2006 Weingut Hirsch Riesling Gaisberg (Kamptal)
Slightly reductive at first (screwcapped), but opens up really nicely with a bit of air to show bright floral and mineral flavours around a core of incredibly bright, ripe white fruits. Really enjoyable, though the alcohol on the back end does start to make itself felt as this warms up a little.

2004 Alzinger Riesling Smaragd Loibner Steinertal (Wachau)
Awesome. Starts out with barely a suggestion of fruit, just fresh basil, leafy and other herbal and floral scents leading into a palate that's all mineral and rocks with a polished, glossy texture. With some time green apple and grapefruit flavours emerge, fresh and kept really precise with the spine of acid underneath and this disappears all too quickly.


Salil, I do love the Steinertal. Thanks for the note. I've been so much happier with the '06 vintage in the Kamptal than in the Wachau (and generally happier with Gaisberg than with Heiligenstein too. Hmmm.) Hirsch is so on right now!

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Bill
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:46 pm

Salil wrote:Thanks Bill. I was wondering about grabbing a bottle of that next time I'm at Table & Vine, probably will as that sounds lovely!


Hi Salil, Check out the Senftenberger Piri too if you haven't already -it's a huge step-up in complexity and class for a few dollars more (sometimes the same price.) Young-vine Privat.

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:03 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:Salil, I do love the Steinertal. Thanks for the note. I've been so much happier with the '06 vintage in the Kamptal than in the Wachau (and generally happier with Gaisberg than with Heiligenstein too. Hmmm.) Hirsch is so on right now!

Steinertal is becoming one of my favourite Riesling sites, especially with both FX and Alzinger making such stunning wines from there.

I've not been as thrilled by the '06s - both the Hiedler Heiligenstein and the Hirsch Gaisberg I opened recently were very good, though a bit alcoholic and not wines I was wishing I had more of in the cellar. I've found the 07s generally more enjoyable from most of my favourite producers - I thought Hirsch absolutely belted it out of the park that year (both the Heiligenstein Riesling and GV are stellar, and I plan on opening one of his 07 GVs soon), Hiedler's Gaisberg Riesling (the only 07 I've had from him) was recently superb and every FX Pichler wine I tasted blew me away. (The '07 Unendlich is one of the most incredible wines I've ever tasted.)
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:08 am

Salil wrote:I've found the 07s generally more enjoyable from most of my favourite producers...every FX Pichler wine I tasted blew me away. (The '07 Unendlich is one of the most incredible wines I've ever tasted.)


How about the 07 FX GV 'M'? Have you had that recently? Was thinking about opening it soon but not sure if it was in an awkward stage.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:53 pm

Haven't had that at all, but I can only imagine it would be stellar if the other FX '07s are any indication.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:07 pm

1997 Nigl Gruner Veltliner Alte Reben
Hitting all the right notes now, this Grüner has developed some degree of aged character, but retains what is essentially Grüner Veltliner about it - namely green herbs allied to minerally fruit notes. Aromatically it bears some resemblance to older Chenin Blanc with a certain wooliness to the aromas, but in the mouth its all GruVee with a rich accent on the finish. Excellent wine.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:13 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:1997 Nigl Gruner Veltliner Alte Reben
Hitting all the right notes now, this Grüner has developed some degree of aged character, but retains what is essentially Grüner Veltliner about it - namely green herbs allied to minerally fruit notes. Aromatically it bears some resemblance to older Chenin Blanc with a certain wooliness to the aromas, but in the mouth its all GruVee with a rich accent on the finish. Excellent wine.


Sounds delicious. I had a lovely 96 a few months ago. Nice stage for the wines.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:12 am

Salil wrote:2007 Moric Blaufränkisch
Seriously awesome. Bright red berries, spices, herbs and faint smoky and earthy touches on a frame that's so silken and finessed it brings to mind a really good Chambolle-Musigny; there's really good acidity here keeping it incredibly fresh, light on its feet and precise and a long smoke and herb-filled finish.

Killed another bottle tonight. Awesome again, though with a really vivid cracked peppercorn aromatic element that stood out among all the other flavours.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:22 am

WTN: `07 Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner Sandgrube 13, Kremstal.

13.5% alc, $22 Cdn, good natural cork, opened half hour and served quite chilled after reading TN on CT.

Color. Pale straw, no green.

Nose. Citrus, peach, minerally, floral, wet stones.

Palate. Initial spritz, off-dry, crisp, light-bodied, drink now, good acidity. "Rather easy drinking" from across the table, very approachable I thought. Apple, melon, pear as it opens.
Nice patio wine with tequila lime shrimp kebabs, pulled pork in cider marinade. Very nice mid-palate, love this and no need for serious thoughts.

WTN: `04 Rabl Gruner Veltliner Kaferberg.

13.8% alc, $27, cellared 2 yrs, opened one hour. Lot F 3972/06

Color. Light to medium gold. Alarm bells ringing!

Nose. Took one hour to open. Minerals, spice, pepper, peach, quince. "Not too keen on this however" from across the table.

Palate. Initial thought is tired, off? Some cristals noted, good acidity, apple, white pepper. Not at all exciting, this should not be going downhill so soon?
Nick at DeVines downtown said his bottle was nothing like this, big problem I said.


Anyone care to comment?
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:11 am

Bob,

Nothing in your note about the Rabl sounds at all off other than your personal assessment of it. Aromatics like "Minerals, spice, pepper, peach, quince" are just about spot on perfect for what I would expect. The crystals are just tartrates and don't mean anything. Your noted flavor profile of "good acidity, apple, white pepper" is classic Gruner Veltliner.
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Re: Wine Focus: April

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:26 am

(Note: I copied this post from the main board when I realized that April is Austria month.)

2008 Sattler St.Laurent, Burgenland
. $21, 13% alcohol.

Dark, grapey-purple color. Nose of boysenberry fruit with an aromatic spice component underneath. In the mouth, you get a lot of that boysenberry fruit with equally intense, tart acidity and just a touch of earth. Very soft tannins that barely break through in a finish that's has the fruit fading into the acidity.

Saw this at the store around the corner and figured what the hell - I hadn't seen a wine made from St. Laurent before. I have to say that this stuff strikes me as pretty disjointed right now. The dark fruit and tart acid just don't come together. They don't really fight each other, they just sit in their respective corners and refuse to play. It's obviously extremely young so I wouldn't be surprised if it evens itself out over the next year or two but at $21/bottle, I'm probably not going to find out. It strikes me as something that ought to be competing at the $10 - $15 range. Still, it was well worth the experience and I'd be interested in hearing of others' experiences with it.

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:13 am

Austrian reds tend to be overpriced for what they deliver. That's mostly a supply and demand issue. The vast majority of hthe stuff gets consumed in Austria, so exports are few and far between with prices a level too high.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Kelly Young » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:42 am

It's hard to watch (on several levels) but topical, I guess:

http://content.corkd.com/2010/04/19/sta ... rian-wine/
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Re: Wine Focus: April

Postby Bill Hooper » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:58 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:(Note: I copied this post from the main board when I realized that April is Austria month.)

2008 Sattler St.Laurent, Burgenland
. $21, 13% alcohol.

Dark, grapey-purple color. Nose of boysenberry fruit with an aromatic spice component underneath. In the mouth, you get a lot of that boysenberry fruit with equally intense, tart acidity and just a touch of earth. Very soft tannins that barely break through in a finish that's has the fruit fading into the acidity.

Saw this at the store around the corner and figured what the hell - I hadn't seen a wine made from St. Laurent before. I have to say that this stuff strikes me as pretty disjointed right now. The dark fruit and tart acid just don't come together. They don't really fight each other, they just sit in their respective corners and refuse to play. It's obviously extremely young so I wouldn't be surprised if it evens itself out over the next year or two but at $21/bottle, I'm probably not going to find out. It strikes me as something that ought to be competing at the $10 - $15 range. Still, it was well worth the experience and I'd be interested in hearing of others' experiences with it.


Mike, Check out this Sankt Laurent thread. It can be a fascinating vine and a delicious wine!

http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15989&hilit=sankt+laurent#p134339
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Kelly Young » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:01 am

Josef Schmid Gruner Veltliner Kremser Weingarten 2007

A little tight, not me you jokers, this wine. I thought it was a fine drinker with a bit of minerally what have you, a splash of zesty citrus type things, and a how's yer father of spice. The neighbor who was sharing this with me on the front porch screwed up his eyes at first taste and said, "this is one o' them spicy wines innit?". It am. The rumor is that the wines up the food chain from this one might be more worth exploring. At a double sawbuck I'm not sure if this is a winner or not. I'll have to get back to you on that.

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