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Austrian Tasting

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Dan Smothergill

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Austrian Tasting

by Dan Smothergill » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:07 am

In January we will host a tasting of Austrian wines for our local AWS chapter. A few members are geeks, but most are ordinary folks with an interest in wine. Here is the tentative wine list. Any bets on the favorite white, favorite red, and overall favorite? Which would be your favorites? Thanks to those who responded to my earlier request for suggestions.


WHITES

’06 Schloss Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner Gobelsburger

’06 Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling

’05 Schrock Furmint

’06 Stadlmann Zierfandler


REDS

’05 Leo Hillenger Zweigelt

’05 Lehrner Blaufrankisch

’02 Meinhard Forstreiter St Laurent

‘06 Tegernserhof Rose-Zweigelt
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Bill Hooper

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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Bill Hooper » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:48 am

The Gobelsburger Riesling and GV '06s are fantastic and easy on the wallet. The Leo Hillinger Zweigelt is the biggest damn Zweigelt I've ever tasted -Almost too showy and not quite what I think of for varietal typicity. I love the Tegernseernhof Rose. It is soooo pretty and delicious. A great little Kremstal Zweigelt rose from the normally heavy-handed Wachau producer. Heidi Schrock is the greatest Furmint producer this side of the Hungarian Border. I'm partial to Prieler, Poeckl, Umathum, and Weninger for my Blaufraenkisch needs. For Sankt Laurent, Poeckl makes my favorite as well. I've only ever tasted Schellmann (that's Loimer money) Gumpelskirchen for my Zierfandler. I love it. I might ask: Where is the friggin' Roter Veltliner? Try Birgit Eichinger Wechselberg. I'd recco a dessert wine too. Ruster Ausbruch from Feiler-Artinger ought to do. If you can't find it, Kracher TBA's should be easy to locate. Oh, and Gobelsburg and Steininger (among others) both make great Sekt.
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by JC (NC) » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:15 pm

Bill,
Are Zierfandler and Gumpoldskirchner one and the same grape? I've only had the Gumpoldshirchner label. Or is Gumpoldshirchen the town name?
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Bill Hooper » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:56 pm

JC, Gumpoldskirchen is a town south of Vienna in the Thermenregion. The grapes Zierfandler and Rotgipfler are used in a wine called Spaetrot-Rotgipfler. Wonderful stuff, and worth seeking out.
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by JC (NC) » Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:46 pm

The Gumpoldskirchener that I drank (in the Schwabing district of Munich) was a white wine. Do you know what grape/s is used in that?
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Mark Lipton » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:30 pm

JC (NC) wrote:The Gumpoldskirchener that I drank (in the Schwabing district of Munich) was a white wine. Do you know what grape/s is used in that?


It could have been Riesling, Zierfandler or even Chardonnay, all of which are grown in Gumpoldskirchen.

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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Bill Hooper » Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:26 pm

To add to Marks list, there is Pinot Blanc, Traminer, and small quantities of Neuburger and Welshriesling here too. Do you remember the producer?
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by JC (NC) » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:42 am

No. It was many years ago and I think I remember it only because of the fun name "Gumpoldskirchener" and the company (Werner was a Bavarian native who knew my father through business and was kind enough to take me out on the town while I was in Munich.) From memory I'm guessing that it was a Riesling but can't be positive. I know it was easy drinking. I was thirsty and was unconsciously swallowing the wine as if it were water and Werner warned me to slow down.
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Bill Hooper » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:40 pm

JC (NC) wrote:No. It was many years ago and I think I remember it only because of the fun name "Gumpoldskirchener" and the company (Werner was a Bavarian native who knew my father through business and was kind enough to take me out on the town while I was in Munich.) From memory I'm guessing that it was a Riesling but can't be positive. I know it was easy drinking. I was thirsty and was unconsciously swallowing the wine as if it were water and Werner warned me to slow down.


The Spaetrot-Rotgipfler is the unique regional specialty and the best reson to drink wines from Gumpoldskirchen, IMO. Take a second look. Vin Divino imports Schellmann.
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Brian K Miller » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:52 pm

Had my first Saint Laurent (according to their label spelling) this month, and it was pretty darn nice! This sounds like a great line-up!
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Dan Smothergill » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:54 am

Our Austrian tasting was held the other night for about 35 people. Hillenger's Zweigelt was the clear overall favorite. This is the one an Asimov panel liked best. I mentioned that Zweigelt has been described as the cocker spaniel of Austrian reds, always wanting to please and never aggressive. The group laughed and agreed. Among the whites, the Gobelsburger GV and Riesling tied for first. Zierfandler and Furmint were new to everyone. I've found both to take some time getting used to.

A wide variety of foods was provided by Mike Riposo. The whites were accompanied by caramelized onions, roasted red, green and yellow peppers, gouda cheese, Lebanese olives and pecans. The caramelized onions in particular were a great match. With the reds there was bockwurst, German potato salad and a carpaccio salad of butternut squash, water cress, sun dried tomatoes, pumpkin seed oil (from Styria) and balsamic dressing. Few complaints were heard.

Thanks to all the WLDGers for their suggestions about wines. The average price of the 8 tasted came in at under $15.
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Paul B. » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:50 am

Dan, many thanks for the notes. As you may know, Austria is one of my favourite wine-producing countries, and not just for Grüner Veltliner. Here in Ontario, we have a small number of wineries growing Zweigelt, and frankly it works quite well in our climate - much better, in my experience, than Cab Sauvignon, which always tastes green. I prefer Ontario Zweigelts to Gamay, Pinot Noir and Cab Francs from here; I find there to be a nice development of mid-palate weight and appetizing white-pepper spice that's well defined - even in poor vintages like '06, in which Pelee Island Winery was able to still craft a very, very nice example (a Zweigelt/Gamay blend, actually). More wineries don't plant Zweigelt because its Germanic name is seen as woefully clunky and unfashionable and the wine press doesn't try to fight this inertia against non-Romance-language grape names - something that I see as, ironically, being a form of provincialism all of its own.

Saint Laurent - unfortunately, none ever makes it here to Ontario. In terms of reds from Austria, we tend to get a spotty selection, and too often we get Lenz Moser. I've tried Lenz Moser reds and have been disappointed every time - I know that Austria produces much better wines than that. Thing is, the only way to really get a taste (pun intended) of the Austrian wine scene would be to visit the country itself and do an intensive tour of the wine regions. Now that's something I'd love to do sometime.
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Re: Austrian Tasting

by Brian K Miller » Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:26 am

Check out the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday-they did an extensive tasting of Austrian Rieslings and rated the group quite highly (lots of *** and ***1/2 wines!) sfgate.com.
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