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Wine Value Archive

© Copyright 1997 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.


Wines of Germany and Austria


Germany

J.u.H.A. Strub 1994 Neirsteiner Brückchen (Rheinhessen) Riesling Kabinett ($9.99)
Clear straw color. Lemon-lime and yeasty rising-bread-dough aroma notes; bright, tart citric flavor, a squirt of mixed orange, lemon and lime. Slight sweetness is well balanced by fresh-fruit acidity. Requires the usual paradigm shift for palates accustomed to dry Euro-Cal table wines, but it's well worth the effort and a very good value. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim, Washington, D.C.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection.(Nov. 2, 1996)

Weingut Kurt Darting 1994 Dürkheimer Fronhof (Pfalz) Riesling Spätlese ($11.99)
Clear pale gold. Luscious citrus, mint and aromatic pine aromas; tangerines and strawberries on the palate, fresh-fruit sweetness brought into balance by a burst of tangy citric acidity. Rich texture, ripe fruit; clean and consistent in a long, shimmering finish. Although it doesn't sound much like a food wine, it went surprisingly well with a dinner of Cantonese shrimp in lobster sauce. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim, Washington, D.C.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (Nov. 1, 1996)

Weingut Theo Minges 1994er Flemlinger Vogelsprung (Pfalz) Scheurebe Spätlese ($10.99)
Why don't Americans like German wine? There's hardly a thing not to like about this juicy-fruity treat. Clear pale gold color. Ripe peach and apricot scent leads into a delicious flavor, peaches and strawberries and a taste of honey, sweet as fresh fruit juice but with a good core of acidity to pull it all together. I doubt that it will age well, but it's a delight right now, and though its sweetness suggests sipping by itself, it made an unexpectedly good companion with a spicy Thai-style shrimp soup. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim (Terry Theise), Washington, D.C. (Oct. 16, 1996).

Kurt Darting 1992er Durkheimer Feuerberg (Pfalz) Portugieser Weissherbst Halbtrocken ($7.99/1 liter)
Clear bright salmon color. Strawberry and mint aromas with an elusive medicinal note, maybe witch hazel. Herbal, leafy and light berry fruit flavors, crisply acidic and just off-dry. Nice quaffing wine, went very well as a quencher with a spicy Cajun andouille gumbo. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim, Washington, D.C.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (Feb. 20, 1996)

Lingenfelder 1993 Grosskarlbacher Osterberg (Pfalz) Trocken Dornfelder QbA ($9.99)
This is an unusual item indeed, a wine made from Dornfelder, a modern (1956) varietal crossing made explicitly to create a dark, robust German RED wine. Very dark ruby color, almost opaque. Plummy, spicy oak aromas with lots of herbal notes evoking bay leaf and sage. Flavors consistent with the nose, ripe and pleasantly herbaceous, reminiscent of a Loire Cabernet Franc. Dry and tart, almost sour, with appealing herbal elements hanging on in a long, clean finish. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim & Co., Washington, DC. (Jan. 27, 1996)

Weingut Karlsmuhle 1993 Kaseler Nies'chen (Mosel) Riesling Spatlese ($10.99)
Clear straw color; tiny bubbles line the glass. Musky melon and apple aromas with hints of pine and oranges. Crisp, tart fruit flavor, apples and peaches, with clean fresh-fruit acidity cloaking light sweetness. A delicious bitter-orange quality hangs on in a medium-long finish. A Terry Theise Estate Selection, imported by Milton S. Kronheim, Washington, D.C. (Nov. 23, 1995)


Austria

Franz Hirtzberger 1994 Spitz/Donau-Wachau (Austria) Grüner Veltliner Roter Tor Federspiel ($15.99)
Clear gold color. Very forward muskmelon scent, minty and "green." Full, bright and tart on the palate, mouth-filling melon fruit, clean and consistent in a very long finish. Excellent match with a thick slab of grilled fresh yellowfin tuna, seared on the outside and rare in the center. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim & Co., Inc., Washington, D.C.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (March 21, 1997)

Weingut Bründlmayer 1994 Kamptal (Austria) Grüner Veltliner Kabinett ($10.99)
Pale straw color, with light spearmint and muskmelon aroma notes, subtle and delicate with light floral overtones, very appealing. Ripe, juicy muskmelon flavor, full and tart; clean and consistent in a long finish. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim & Co., Inc., Washington, D.C., a Terry Theise Selection. (March 1, 1997)

Weinberghof Fritsch 1993 Donauland (Austria) Grüner Veltliner Spätlese Qualitätswein Trocken ($11.99)
Pale gold color. Lovely melon fruit aroma with citric grapefruit overtones. Full and bright, mouth-filling melon fruit backed up with steely acidity. Melons and grapefruit persist in a very long, clean finish. Excellent wine! Importer: Milton S. Kronheim & Co., Inc., Washington, D.C.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (March 14, 1997)

Nigl 1995 Kremstal (Austria) Grüner Veltliner Ried Gärtling ($9.99)
Very pale, transparent brass color. Light muskmelon and spearmint aroma, seems characteristic of this Austrian grape. Full and bright, piercing acidity at first, falls into balance with fresh melon and apple fruit, seguing into citric flavors in a very long finish. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim & Co., Inc., Washington, D.C.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (Feb. 25, 1997)

E & M Berger non-vintage Kremstal (Austria) Grüner Veltliner ($8.99/1 liter)
Pale brass color. Musky scent, cantaloupe and a whiff of mint. Clean, bright fruit flavor, tart and citric; fresh lemon-lime flavors follow in a very long finish. Rather full-bodied, but a tart cutting edge makes it a natural with fish. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim & Co., Inc.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (Feb. 21, 1997)

Fine Austrian White
This is a remarkably good Austrian wine, one I've frankly been putting off because I was afraid it would be soft and sweet. Nope! It's dry, crisp and aromatic, a really unusual wine that I would gladly drink again, and that I suspect would evolve for at least a year or two in the cellar. According to my references, "Muskateller" is a particularly refined clone of Muscat; and Südsteirmark (South Styria) is perhaps Austria's best wine region.
Weingut Walter und Evelyn Skoff 1994 Südsteiermark (Austria) Muskateller ($9.99)
Very pale straw color. Lovely aroma, peaches and pine needles. Crisp, lemony scent, peaches, apricots and pine; dry and refreshing flavor with pleasant peach-pit bitterness in a very long, clean finish. Delightful wine and a very good value. Importer: Milton S. Kronheim, Washington, D.C.; a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (Jan. 25, 1997)

E & M Berger non-vintage Kremstal (Austria) Gruner Veltliner ($6.69/1 liter)
Clear straw color. Cooking apples scent with musky and butterscotch overtones. Fresh, simple fruit flavor, dry and tart; apples and a bit of peach-pit bitterness in a long finish. Excellent price-quality ratio! Importer: Terry Theise/Milton Kronheim, Washington, DC. (Dec. 15, 1995)

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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