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Bob Parsons Alberta

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TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:51 pm

Very good tasting the other evening downtown at a local winestore. 16 keen participants who wanted to try Gruner Veltliner and dabble with some Rieslings!!

`05 Schloss Gobelsburg "Gobelsburger" Gruner Veltliner.

Reception wine but a real winner with the tasters. I really liked this one too. 12.5%, terrific nose of white pepper, floral, sweet pea. Flinty, minerally, crisp acidity/real zap on the finish. $ 17 Cdn, a must-buy for many tasting. I liked the richness here. From Kamptal area.

`02 Sepp Moser "Wolfsgraben" Gruner V.

12.5%, from Kremstal just south of Kamptal. Pale with green hue, nose is peach, flint, minerally but not as big as above wine. Citrus flavours, lots of acidity here. Oh la la.Very dry on the finish. What a comparision to the above! $20 Cdn.

`05 Kurt Angerer "Kies" GV, Kamptal.

Superstar? Nose is green apple, fresh, pear, pepper. Some honeyed tones on the palate plus good acidity that zings! Tons of grip, very good but over $25 Cdn. Yeah, I know some go for up to $6o. Real class in the glass.

The Rieslings.

`04 Paul Zinck, Alsace.

One of my fav. producers. Peach, nectarine on the nose, plus spice, floral. Really stood up to the food, a nice curried shrimp pasta. Everything in order here but finish might have been a tad short? Naturally distinct!

`05 Vineland Estates Semi-Dry Riesling, Niagara, Ontario.

Surprise wine of the night, and many nods of approval! $15 Cdn and a great value. I did not like the regular Riesling tasted last month but this one wowed. Peach, apricot nose and really matched the food with more acidity. Zingy New World, look out for this one. Pineapple and citrus, some RS but nice and well balanced. Very popular with everyone as was wine #1.

`05 Main Divide Riesling, South Isalnd, NZ.

Big build-up around town for this one. A very pale colour at this early stage. No gas here but smoke, nectarine and lime. Also some pear and peach. Elegant on the palate, very fresh, tangy and great acidity. Very nice, must buy and add to the other 24 various R`s in the cellar!! Will it age though, Sue? $21 Cdn.

`03 Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Kapellenberg Ries Kab, Nahe, Germany.

Not much experience with Nahe wines afraid to say. Very watery rim, tropical fruits and citrus on the nose. Very rich, more of a dessert style wine? Had some Co2 spritz as well. Apples, slate, orange, pear, floral. Too sweet for many, have to try again with the right food, which is......?
Oh, $21 Cdn, nice packaging.

Good times eh. One of the better tastings, I loved the Austrians. Knew what to sort of expect from the others I guess.
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:22 pm

Hello, Austrian wine lovers?? Any thoughts.
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Robin Garr » Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:25 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Hello, Austrian wine lovers?? Any thoughts.


Loved your notes, Bob, but by and large, those labels aren't available to me, so I didn't have much to say. I do find myself loving GV more and more, though ... I wish I could warm up more to Riesling.
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Paul B. » Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:32 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I wish I could warm up more to Riesling.


Maybe we can somehow identify what it is about Riesling that makes you hesitant, Robin. Is it the varietal aromas or the texture?

I love Riesling personally - the drier the better - and believe that of the vinifera varieties, it is the best one in our area. That said, I like Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris in Ontario too. (It's an aside, but Gewürz just doesn't seem to cut it in our climate - too little aroma).

The '04 Willow Heights Riesling that I posted on recently had an amazing amount of minerality and crispness on the nose; I was very taken by it. You might say that a dry, fully aromatic Riesling is the quintessential white wine to me (though I also have a very fond spot for Grüner).
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Robin Garr » Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:16 am

Paul B. wrote:Maybe we can somehow identify what it is about Riesling that makes you hesitant, Robin. Is it the varietal aromas or the texture?


Fair question. At the root of it, it's probably not what it is, but what it is not: It's distinctly different from the dry, elegant table wines made in the French and Italian tradition, and those are the wines I grew up loving.

But if I had to try to express it as a negative that doesn't appeal to me, I'd say Riesling to me is usually too "loud." I might recognize and even respect its character, but I want to reach out and turn down the volume, brightness and contrast knobs.

I love Riesling personally - the drier the better


I would guess that 99 percent of Riesling fanciers prefer it with at least a small amount of residual sweetness, but then, the same is true of 99 percent of V. Labrusca fanciers ...
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Sue Courtney » Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:40 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:`05 Main Divide Riesling, South Isalnd, NZ.

Big build-up around town for this one. A very pale colour at this early stage. No gas here but smoke, nectarine and lime. Also some pear and peach. Elegant on the palate, very fresh, tangy and great acidity. Very nice, must buy and add to the other 24 various R`s in the cellar!! Will it age though, Sue? $21 Cdn.


Hi Bob, If you talk to the folks at Pegasus Bay, who make this wine as their second label (Pegasus Bay is all estate fruit from their Waipara Vineyard, Main Divide is a multi-regional blend from other parts of Waipara, from the wider Canterbury region and also from Marlborough), they will tell you this is a 'beverage wine' and not to be taken too seriously. Not to say it wouldn't wouldn't cellar - Riesling is one of the best wines for cellaring in my opinion, but just keep in mind that it hasn't been made for this purpose. I would drink in 2-3years. I assume your bottle has a screwcap closure and from my experience to date, this keeps the wine fresher for longer as well, which is something else to consider as well.

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Paul B. » Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:58 am

Robin Garr wrote:I might recognize and even respect its character, but I want to reach out and turn down the volume, brightness and contrast knobs.


I think that's well put, and gets to the core of the issue. Of course as one who loves wines that have all the knobs turned up to the max (except the residual sugar and oak knobs), it also hints at why I happen to like it as much as I do.

But then again it's that way for me with pretty much all white wines: I especially like Sauvignon Blanc with big grassy-green and catty aromas.
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Bill Hooper » Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:15 pm

Schloss Gobelsburg is one of the Premiere Austrian producers in Kamptal or anywhere. I haven't had the 2005's yet but am pleased to hear that it was well recieved. My only "bad?" tasting experience from SG was the 2003 Kammerner Gaisberg Riesling (actually had decent acidity, just lack of fruit intensity-odd for '03) which everyone else I was with absolutely loved. It's Terry T, so Robin should be able to find it.


Prost!
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:45 pm

Well Bill, I do not have a load of experience with Austria but I`ll be there in future. This was very good and I guess entry-level too eh. What is the situation with late harvest GV?
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by James Roscoe » Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:22 pm

I've said before that I find GV to be sort of a cross between Chardonnay and Riesling. It's sort of the best of both worlds. I wish we could get our hands on those labels. Actually, there is a shop in DC that specializes in German and Austrian wines. If I had time and money I'd check it out. Nice notes as always Bob.
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:11 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Hello, Austrian wine lovers?? Any thoughts.


Following up, Bob, I found the '04 Gobelsburger and enjoyed it with dinner tonight. I'll probably feature it in tomorrow's Wine Advisor, but to make a long story short, it was very much consistent with your notes on the '05, and a fine value at $13.49 here, although - as usual with this local vendor lately, I'm afraid - it's priced a few bucks above the national standard.
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Mark Lipton » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:57 pm

Robin Garr wrote:But if I had to try to express it as a negative that doesn't appeal to me, I'd say Riesling to me is usually too "loud." I might recognize and even respect its character, but I want to reach out and turn down the volume, brightness and contrast knobs.


Robin,
One of my recent projects has been getting SHMBO to drink Riesling, a grape that she has written off. Might I suggest that you try, if you haven't already, a few Rieslings from Austria and NZ? They tend to be less tilted to the aromatics and closer in character (to me) to Muscadet (big on the citrus and minerals).

Just my $0.02,
Mark Lipton
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Bill Hooper » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:32 pm

For anyone who thinks the German Praedikatswein system is complicated, Austrias is far the worse.
Firstly, instead of Oechsle or Brix, the Austrians use the Klosterneuburger Mostwaage Scale (KMW). Any wine found in the US (or outside of Austria for that matter) is most likely to be Qualitaetswein or above (15 degrees KMV or 73 Oechsle).
There is Kabinett, Spaetlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenbeerenauslese, (Also Strohwein which is like Vin de Paille) but oh so much more!
In the Wachau, there are additional terms (which I think were covered in one of Robin's Daily reports)
Steinfeder -unchapitalised wines with less than 10.8% Alcohol (I've never seen Steinfeder in the USA)
Federspiel -Dry, unchapitalised wines with less than 12% alcohol, and Smaragd -These are like dry First Growth wines in Germany: No chapitalization, Spaetlese ripeness and at least 11.3% alcohol.
If you're looking for dessert-style late harvest wines, Weinlaubenhof Kracher is the very best. They make TBA's from just about any grape they please (Muskat, Riesling, Welschriesling, Zweigelt, Chard, Scheurebe just to name a few. They are expensive, but insanely delicious! they're brought in by VinDivino (USA) and Renaissance in Calgary, so should be available at better wine shops.


Prost!
-Bill
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Michael Pronay » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:15 am

Bill Hooper wrote:For anyone who thinks the German Praedikatswein system is complicated, Austrias is far the worse.

I completely disagree, for one very simple reason. By law, every bottle of Austrian wine has to carry a designation of sweetness on the label (front or back): trocken/dry, halbtrocken/half dry, lieblich/semi sweet, süß/sweet.

No other wine producing country in the world has a similar compulsory regulation.

The sweetness labelling, together with the alcohol content (given with a ±0.5% tolerance compared to ±1.5% in the US) gives you a better idea of what to expect — as a rule of thumb — than anything else.
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Bill Hooper » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:26 pm

Micheal, I think it's a great system. The educated consumer will get exactly what they're looking for. Unfortunately for the uninitiated, Austrian labels (and German for that matter) can be daunting. Smaragd means very little to the average American. Even a wine lover well versed in German wines will find the term "Ausbruch" confusing. It's more precise, but extra terminology isn't going to sell more wine to someone who's never heard of Gruener Veltliner or Sankt Laurent. It's terribly unfortunate, but over here, words don't sell wine (WLDG members aside). Cute animals do. Thank God, this is all starting to change (I hope). It seems Austria and Germany are both enjoying a renaissance state-side and the key to it all is education. Maybe someday people will finally enjoy Kabinett instead of Kangaroo.


Prost!
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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Charles Weiss » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:15 pm

Bob,
I had the 2005 "Gobelsburger" Gruner with dinner tonight and thought it was delicious. Incredibly fresh and refreshing as ice water (in a good way) but full of real varietal character. I'll definitely buy more. ~$11 discounted. In part my purchase was stimulated by your post (thanks) and in part by...

I also had the 2004 "Gobelsburger" Riesling the other night and found it very racy and also with real flavor interest. A bit of a floral note but mostly about minerals. $12 discounted. I bought the 2005 Gobelsburger Riesling today but haven't tasted it yet. ~$13 discounted.

Also from Gobelsburg, I just bought a few bottles of the 2004 Lamm Gruner, a very intense and long wine needing some age. A completely different beast from the others, but all outstanding for their type. $24 discounted.

Where has Schloss Gobelburg been all my life?
Charles
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: TNs: Some Austrian Gruners and world-wide Rieslings.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:44 pm

Charles, I am asking the same question about Pepiere. Thanks to Bill, I feel I am part of the family but have not actually tasted it yet!!

Wow look, 600 posts!!

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