Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

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Re: Wine Focus: April

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:27 am

Bill Hooper wrote: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


Thanks, Bill - will do.

As an addendum, I finished that bottle of Sattler last night. It was surprisingly good after sitting on the counter with a cork in it for a couple of days. The various sharp edges softened up into a more feminine version - the ripe fruit character became more subdued as did the sharp acidity. There was just a touch of an oxidative note showing but it was otherwise delicious. This stuff may have a good future to it.

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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:18 am

2007 Weingut Hirsch Grüner Veltliner Zöbinger Heiligenstein
Tightly wound and unyielding initially, but with time this opens nicely to show really pretty aromatics of white fruits, green beans and flowers that lead into a palate that' incredibly streamlined and precise; full of bright fruit and herbal notes with really refreshing acidity and a long finish.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:27 pm

2007 Weingut Hillinger,Zweigelt, Burgenland, Austria. 13.5% abv. Deep purple color--opaque and viscous. Pleasant berry fragrance and flavors. Juicy with a subtle savory touch at the back end. Fair pairing with beef stroganoff. I felt I got fair value for the price (under $20.) Some sediment at the bottom of the bottle/glass. Deteriorated on the third day.

Next up a blend of Zweigelt. Blaufrankishce (Lemburger) and St. Laurent grapes.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:20 pm

Salil wrote:2007 Weingut Hirsch Grüner Veltliner Zöbinger Heiligenstein
Tightly wound and unyielding initially, but with time this opens nicely to show really pretty aromatics of white fruits, green beans and flowers that lead into a palate that' incredibly streamlined and precise; full of bright fruit and herbal notes with really refreshing acidity and a long finish.


Sounds delicious. Hirschs 07 Riesling Heiligenstein is astonishing, but I have yet to taste the Gruener. That'll have to change!
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:32 pm

Prieler Blaufränkisch “Goldberg” 2005 -Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Österreich 13,5% alc

I bring up the price of this wine for the simple reason of showing that Austrian reds are indeed serious business to Austrians and I guess those of us around the world who truly love grapes such as Blaufränkisch. I tasted this about 6 months ago and it was so completely shut down that I hardly knew what to think. Today it is an impressive wine to be sure (and it’s unfurling even if very slowly.) If you are familiar with some of the flagship red cuvees from the better Austrian producers, you will have noticed a definite stylistic shift away from using too much oak, limited blending with international varieties, lower alcohol levels and generally towards more elegance. This wine is impressive in that it stays within those parameters. Blackberry fruit, charcuterie, lavender, aloe, dark chocolate, sweet red pepper with fine tannins (like Gevrey-Chambertin) -in fact, this has a remarkably Grand Cru Burgundian texture (especially in oak treatment terms -this sees two years in barrique without tasting like it.) Great stuff. $130 great has to be decided after much more cellar time. -BH
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Wick White » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:06 am

Bill Hooper wrote:Prieler Blaufränkisch “Goldberg” 2005 -Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Österreich 13,5% alc

I bring up the price of this wine for the simple reason of showing that Austrian reds are indeed serious business to Austrians and I guess those of us around the world who truly love grapes such as Blaufränkisch. I tasted this about 6 months ago and it was so completely shut down that I hardly knew what to think. Today it is an impressive wine to be sure (and it’s unfurling even if very slowly.) If you are familiar with some of the flagship red cuvees from the better Austrian producers, you will have noticed a definite stylistic shift away from using too much oak, limited blending with international varieties, lower alcohol levels and generally towards more elegance. This wine is impressive in that it stays within those parameters. Blackberry fruit, charcuterie, lavender, aloe, dark chocolate, sweet red pepper with fine tannins (like Gevrey-Chambertin) -in fact, this has a remarkably Grand Cru Burgundian texture (especially in oak treatment terms -this sees two years in barrique without tasting like it.) Great stuff. $130 great has to be decided after much more cellar time. -BH


Prieler is one of my favorite vineyards in the Leithaberg region. BF Goldberg is one of the best Blaufränkisch on the market. You can leave this wine down in the cellar for at least 5 more years without reaching it's top. Did you say you payed $130 for a bottle?
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bill Hooper » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:59 am

Wick White wrote:
Prieler is one of my favorite vineyards in the Leithaberg region. BF Goldberg is one of the best Blaufränkisch on the market. You can leave this wine down in the cellar for at least 5 more years without reaching it's top. Did you say you payed $130 for a bottle?


Hello Wick,

The price might seem high, but that’s the price of admission over here. The cost of shipping it to the Adriatic, putting it on a boat bound for NJ in a refrigerated container, a train ride to MN, importer and distributer cuts, and the unfavorable exchange rate on top of that and I’m surprised it wasn’t more! Wein u. Co. sold it for 68€ in Austria (I don’t know what it costs Ex-Cellar), but The Prielers would be out of their minds to sell it for less money to their export markets when they can get 68€ at home. The same fate befalls German Spätburgunder which seems expensive to us in the US. Germans and Austrians alike will pay high prices for their top red wines. I’ve spent more money on worse wines to be sure.

Cheers,
Bill
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby JC (NC) » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:30 pm

2007 Weingut Michlits Burgenland Red, Red Wine Cuvee. Wine made with organic grapes as certified by an Austrian agency. Zweigelt 60%, Blaufrankisch 30%, St. Laurent 10%. Imported by Bordeaux Fine and Rare, Raleigh, NC. Purchased at Seaboard Wine Warehouse, Raleigh. Inky purple color. (I first wrote inky purple "cloud" as I lisnted to news reports about funnel clouds in Zebulon, NC, home of Nomacork.) Dark fruit notes. Bottle label says it pairs well with all dishes. (that's broad!) I would suggest with roast beef, rump roast, etc. or possibly barbequed beef or pork. Okay for an ordinary meal--not exciting or something I would want to stock regularly. I actually liked it more the third night than the first whereas the Zweigelt wine from last week deteriorated on the third evening.

P.S. I got home around 8:00 PM after several errands and didn't want to cook a dinner so opened some smoked sausage bites. The Burgenland Red went nicely with the sausages. I could see this type of meal in Austria or with grilled Bratwurst.

I still have an Austrian Gruner Veltliner and a Riesling to try but won't get to them both before the end of the month so will open the Riesling now and save the Gruner.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Wick White » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:58 am

Bill Hooper wrote:Hello Wick,

The price might seem high, but that’s the price of admission over here. The cost of shipping it to the Adriatic, putting it on a boat bound for NJ in a refrigerated container, a train ride to MN, importer and distributer cuts, and the unfavorable exchange rate on top of that and I’m surprised it wasn’t more! Wein u. Co. sold it for 68€ in Austria (I don’t know what it costs Ex-Cellar), but The Prielers would be out of their minds to sell it for less money to their export markets when they can get 68€ at home. The same fate befalls German Spätburgunder which seems expensive to us in the US. Germans and Austrians alike will pay high prices for their top red wines. I’ve spent more money on worse wines to be sure.

Cheers,
Bill


I'm sure that the Blaufränkisch Goldberg from Prieler is definitely worth it's money, but this price really shocks me. Of course there's a high admission, But I didn't think it got that expensive. Be aware that Wein & Co is pretty expensive for buying wines. Be careful comparing your wine prices there. At Prieler's vineyard you get the Goldberg for around €40
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Wick White » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:53 am

Today I'm going to write a little about the West-Steiermark (Schilcherland):

West-Steiermark:
The Western Styrian Schilcherland reaches from Ligist in the north down south to Eibiswald and Wies on the eastside of the Koralpe mountains. The most famous grape from this region is the local blauer wildbacher. It brings a lot of tannin and acidity. The grape is mostly used for rose wine which is called Schilcher. It gives a strong acidic taste with a smell of raspberry, black currant and strawberry. The best Lagen (appellations) are on the south facing hills of Hochgrail.
The Schilcherland is protected from strong winds by the Koralpe mountains on the east which makes the temperature rise a lot at the daytime. The night brings a cool down from the forests around the wine areas which gives the wine acidity and a fruity taste.
In the region you'll find a lot of good white wines as well. Especially Sauvignon Blanc seems to like the same conditions as the Schilcher grape Blauer Wildbacher. There's also interesting Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) to find or some lighter Morillon (Chardonnay).
Good vineyards are: Jöbstl, Klug Markus, Langmann vulgo Lex, Lazarus vulgo Pers, Oswald vulgo Trapl, Franz Strohmeier, Weber.

Image

My favorite vineyards in this region are:
Eduard Oswald Trapl: (http://www.trapl-schilcher.at)
Klug Markus: (http://www.markusklug.at)
Langmann-Lex: (http://www.l-l.at)

My favorite restaurants are:
Jagawirt:
Guesthouse with own pork breed, butchery and organic agriculture. Also has got their own distillery with high class distills. Really nice local food and most of the products come from their own agriculture. Also nice rooms to stay at. The house is all old traditional Styrian style. (http://www.jagawirt.at).
Image

Rauch-hof:
Rauch-hof is the place to go when you like fish. They produce their own trout and are well known for their own organic asparagus. Especially the terrace has a nice atmosphere (http://www.rauch-hof.at).
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:38 am

Thanks so much for the informative writeup. I love traveling in Austria--very hospitable people and lovely scenery. I was once on a train ride with my parents across Austria and we couldn't take our eyes off the scenery. We had cards for some card games but chose to look out the windows instead.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:22 am

2007 Hiedler Riesling Gaisberg (Kamptal)
Surprisingly different from the bottle I opened last month. The minerality isn't anywhere near as vivid or prominent here with far more emphasis on the bright yellow fruited and citrus flavours with bright floral and honeyed accents, and a savoury, earthy finish. This feels a bit heavier without the same acid-driven cut and precision to the flavours, still enjoyable though not up to my previous experience with this wine.

2004 Alzinger Riesling Smaragd Loibner Steinertal (Wachau)
Superb again with clear, precise flavours of fresh herbs and pear/citrus fruits over a bed of rocks and salty notes and the start of developing notes - with some air, a nice petrol-like scent starts to emerge. This has the typical Alzinger acid spine and sense of freshness to it, at $30 it's an incredible value (particularly compared to recent releases) and a wine I'm glad to have more of in my cellar.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:35 pm

2006 Weingut Fam. Franz Mittelbach, Tegernseerhof Terrassen Riesling, Wachau, Austria
Imported by Select Wines, Inc., Chantilly, VA. Labeled as 12% alcohol. Screwcap. Frizzante.
Gold color with a faint green sheen. A bit of petrol on the nose.
Acidic and not a lot of fruit to balance the acid or compensate for an uninteresting palate. This could maybe be paired with a trout dish. I would not seek out again.
My favorite Austrian Riesling to date was a Brundlmayer Zobinger Heiligenstein and I have also enjoyed some nice ones from Pichler.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat May 01, 2010 12:31 pm

WTN: `03 Hirtzberger Gruner Veltliner Rotes Tor Federspiel, Wachau.

Top of the line producer, this GV is his entry level effort I believe? Cellared two years, $26 Cdn, 12.5% alc. Lot 1574/04. Good natural cork, opened and decanted one hour. Excellent vintage rating in the Wine Report `09.

Color. Sparkling medium yellow-lemon, no sign of gold.

Nose. White stone-fruit, minerally, citrus, peach, "green pepper" from across the table.

Palate. Initial thoughts were short finish, off-dry, light bodied, no zip. However after a couple of hrs, and certainly next day, strutted its stuff! Brief hints of honeysuckle, some ripe fruit but no white pepper. Compelling enough on day 2, anyone tasted the Smaragd?
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Salil » Sat May 01, 2010 12:52 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `03 Hirtzberger Gruner Veltliner Rotes Tor Federspiel, Wachau.

Top of the line producer, this GV is his entry level effort I believe? Cellared two years, $26 Cdn, 12.5% alc. Lot 1574/04. Good natural cork, opened and decanted one hour. Excellent vintage rating in the Wine Report `09.

Color. Sparkling medium yellow-lemon, no sign of gold.

Nose. White stone-fruit, minerally, citrus, peach, "green pepper" from across the table.

Palate. Initial thoughts were short finish, off-dry, light bodied, no zip. However after a couple of hrs, and certainly next day, strutted its stuff! Brief hints of honeysuckle, some ripe fruit but no white pepper. Compelling enough on day 2, anyone tasted the Smaragd?

Haven't had the '03 Smaragd, and don't plan on looking out for it given my past issues with a lot of '03s (and I'd rather go for a sure-fire 04, 05 or 07 rather than gamble). But the '07 Rotes Tor Smaragd was gorgeous some time ago. Hirtzberger makes some stunning wines, and the '01 Singerriedel Riesling Smaragd is one of the greatest wines I've had.

Been a very fun wine focus - really enjoyed seeing the other write ups on Austria and discussions here as well as the range of notes.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat May 01, 2010 1:08 pm

Poster on WB thinks my comment about day 2 to be spot on. It certainly was a transformation in taste. I do not think my TN gave it enough credit?
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Tim York » Sat May 01, 2010 4:46 pm

Singerriedel Riesling Smaragd 2006 – Franz Hirtzberger, Wachau – Alc. 14%. On the strength of an enthusiastic report about the 2005 vintage of this wine, I opened the first of two bottles of this which I had been intending to keep longer. Although IMO there is a lot of unfinished business here, this 2006 is already drinking very well and was an excellent pairing for “filet de barbue au beurre blanc”.

Colour is already quite deep and the aromas on the nose showed white fruit and flowers together with delicate spices. The palate was full bodied and rich accompanied by aromas as described, a somewhat Southern warmth, firm structure, smooth acidity and length. The wine gained expressiveness as the bottle emptied but I am not sure how far this was due to exposure to air or to the Riesling friendly goat cheeses which followed the barbue. My personal taste leans towards more lively acidity and minerality but I am confident that a lot more complexity will emerge with age; 16.5/20+ right now with +++ potential.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun May 02, 2010 1:21 pm

We need to open some recently purchased bottles so that in-house PO can see we are spending wisely!!
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Tim York » Sun May 02, 2010 4:06 pm

Bob, PO loved this one but I didn't tell her the price (€50) :wink: .
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Paul B. » Tue May 04, 2010 11:35 am

I've had a soft spot for Austrian wines for a number of years - especially for the varietal Central European wines such as: Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, GV. Irsai Olivér, which shows up under that name in Hungary - not sure if they make it in Austria and if so, what it's called there - is another favourite.

My personal feeling is that Central European wines - those of Austria and Hungary, especially - are the logical wine choices for much Eastern European cuisine. You don't often hear that connection being made, but to me at least it's logical. Take Poland, for example: An interest in home-grown wine has taken root in recent years, but there still isn't a widespread viticultural tradition. Having said that, I think that given the similar culinary traditions that exist in that general part of the world, the vinous traditions could certainly overlap within time as well. Of course, it merits mention that nowdays in Poland you can pretty much get any wine from anywhere, so that's not an issue. But whenever I have cabbage rolls or schnitzel at home - you can be sure I'm looking for that GV or Austrian Riesling, more often than anything else!
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby JC (NC) » Tue May 04, 2010 11:58 am

My cabbage rolls usually have a tomato-based sauce and I am more likely to look for an Italian red wine to go with them.
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Re: Wine Focus: April 2010 - Austria

Postby Paul B. » Tue May 04, 2010 12:08 pm

JC, that makes sense - I've had Barbera and Baco with those type of rolls.

At home we also make cabbage rolls with mushroom sauce, and for those I usually reach for GV: the peppery spice works nicely with it.
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