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Austrian Wine Month Selections

| Austrian wines, Featured Wine

2012 Strauss, White, Styria!

Fresh, fruity, light, blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Morillon (Chardonnay). On the nose, very fruity with the aroma of elderberry, apple and citrus. On the palate, very dense with a balanced acidity and a harmonious finish.  This is a fun, bright white for the summer.

2012 Meinklang, Burgenland White

A trilogy of three white varieties: Welschriesling, Gruner Veltliner, Muskat Ottonel
Light, refreshing, crisp. Burgenland shines in its own unmistakable colors: the charming Welschriesling, the spicy, saucy Gruner Veltliner and the elegant and aromatic Muskat Ottonel unite in perfectly in the pretty summer white.

Vinification: the fresh must of white grapes undergoes a spontaneous fermentation with natural yeasts. The wine remains in stainless steel for a short time and is bottled early with some lively carbon dioxide from its own fermentation.Certified: Austria Bio Garantie | Demeter

2012 Steininger, Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal

Last year’s winner for entry-level new vintage Gruners was the Bauer, Gmork. While we have high expectations for it, the 2012 did not make the last container so we still have not tried it; alas, the 2011 is mort. In the meantime, the Steininger, Kamptal, has stepped into the primary position, offering an almost classic Gruner nose that includes rich fruit, along the lines of quince or papaya, a vein of something green (I got lemon basil), a whiff of smoke, ginger, and that clean, flinty minerality that enters mid-palate and finishes with a spritz of white pepper.

2012 Christ, Gemischter Satz, Vienna

Vienna has many attractions, from the Schonbrunn Palace to the dancing Lippizzaner horses, but did you know that it also has vineyards within the city limits? Gemischter Satz wines are specific to Vienna and refer to wines produced from any one vineyard within the city limits, planted with multiple varietals that are harvested, pressed and vinifed at the same time. Most Gemischter Satz wines are also served on site, at the family’s “heurigen” or wine tavern. Some, like the Christ, are available beyond Vienna, allowing us to experience a Viennese moment when we enjoy a glass. A blend of Gruner, Muscat, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Welschriesling and Riesling, it has some beautiful fruit on the nose—peach and pear, a lushness in the mouth and a pretty finish of cream and yet something very lively, like grapefruit.

2012 Mittelbach, T- Rose,  Zweigelt,  Wagram

A beautiful hue of watermelon sets just the right tone for this bright, disarmingly fun rosé. Crisp, dry and ultra-refreshing, this light-to-medium-bodied wine exudes an intoxicating perfume of ripe cherry and crushed strawberry. The wine holds its balance throughout the finish, never striking a confectionery note. A joy to drink and absolutely appropriate anytime.

2011 Anton Bauer, Riesling “Berg,” Wagram

Here is an opportunity to discover that you do like Riesling after all, when it is vinified dry as this one is. Four of us were tasting this wine and all of us sat back and just appreciated the beauty of the aromas coming from the glass. While I have notes, and they follow the usual winespeak of describing the aromas as “beeswax, Meyer Lemon, clove moving to spearmint, “ I really just want to say that if you are adventuresome and willing to try something that perhaps you’ve stayed away from for many years, Austrian Riesling, whether the Tegernseerhof, Terrassen, or the Bauer, Berg, is a great challenge to your earlier-formed perception. I hope you give it a try this month!

2012 Tegernseerhof, Riesling,  “Terrassen,”  Federspiel  Wachau

“Falstaff” Austria  best 2012 Federspiel Riesling – 92 points
This dry Riesling from the terraced hillside vineyards in the prestigious Wachau is the kind of wine that convinces non-Riesling-drinkers that they were wrong; it is that good. This Federspiel Riesling is one of the most versatile wines in the world—a  great dry Riesling, which goes with everything except dessert.

NV Strauss, Gelber Muskateller, Frizzante, Styria

Let it be known that we love sparkling, . . . and now we have another to add to our list of fun wines to enjoy in the company of friends. Gelber Muskateller is, like Riesling, a rich grape, very aromatic, one that brings the word “perfume” to mind. It has heady aromas that range from lime curd to apricot and honey. While the aromas are sweet, the wine is dry. That makes it a perfect grape for sparkling in which the effervescence lifts the wine and leaves the mouth fresh but with a long, lingering finish. I think that we’ll be using this wine with fresh fruit at the end of summer evening meals. The Gamlitzberg Vineyard, from which the grapes come, is one of the most beautiful vineyards in Austria—no wonder it produces lovely wines!

2010 Leo Hillinger, Pinot Noir, ” Eveline,”  Burgenland

Pinot Noir from Austria! It has a typical Pinot Noir nose with strawberries, raspberries and floral notes such as violets. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied. It has intense notes of herbs and puréed dark berries. The wine has typical Burgundy structure with soft tannins, a juicy ripeness and an elegant, long finish.

 2011 Leo Hillinger, Blaufränkisch Klassic, Burgenland

Deep black berry fruit and soft tannins balanced with beautiful black pepper spices. The finish is very long, smooth and silky with some of the spice and fruit returning.  A medium–bodied soft wine, which can be enjoyed on its own or with barbeque, grilled fish (little chilled), pork tenderloin and kabobs.

2010 Steindorfer, Apetlon Rouge, Burgenland

Equal parts Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and St.Laurent. The grapes for this wine are hand selected and harvested. The wine spent 14 months in neutral barrels. The bouquet is a lovely mix of red berry fruit, some black pepper, a little cedar and spice. The aromas follow through on the palate for a complex, but smooth finish. A very nice medium-bodied red for every day drinking.