Sunday, June 15, 2014

Report from ... Austria: Vie Vinum 2014, Day 3 - June 14, 2014

The day has arrived, time to head back to the Hofburg and experience the international wine festival known as Vie Vinum here in Austria.  I stayed within the Austrian sections of the show today to get a full immersion of their wines; later on there were two "parties", one back at the Badeschiff (boat restaurant) and the other at the Kursalon.  Here's how the day progressed and a smattering of the wines I tried.

Our morning walk to the Hofburg took as past this sign.
If you look at it quickly it looks like ti says, "Fine Rats" ...
We arrive at the first sign that a wine tasting is in town

This is an even bigger sign:  media tasting hours are from 10-12 so I best get in there
I'm gonna hang a left and start in the Wachau and then see where it all leads.
But before I get there I am confronted by this sign:  how's this for eye-catching,
or is that over a little over the top?

The Wines ...
Nikolaihof 2013 Von Stein Federspiel Rieslingpeach, pear skin, dry and pleasant with nice minerality and mouthfeel
Double Gruner Veltliner:  Sigl 2013
Federspiel - lively lemon and pea pod notes (****)
Smaragd - big minerality with citrus pith rather than fruit (****)

Sigl 2013 Smaragd Kirnberg Riesling
mineral, limestone, tart with great acidity, slight touch of sweetness noticeable (****)
Polz 2013 Federspiel Gruner Veltliner
crisp, fresh, mineral and orange peel based
*** 1/2+

Weingut Franz Pichler 2013 Smaragd Kollmitz Gruner Veltliner
robust and mouthfilling, sweet fruit takes the form of apricot and tangerine
*** 1/2+
Weingut Franz Pichler 2013 Federspiel Bachgarten Gruner Veltliner
lime zest, lemon peel, mineral and pea pod
*** 1/2+
Weingut Erich Bayer 2013 Smaragd Vorderseiber Gruner Veltliner
a mix of pea pod and fresh peas with mineral and citrus backing
*** 1/2+
Weingut Karl Stierschneider-Kartauserhof 2013 Federspiel Achleiten Gruner Veltliner
fresh and lively with pea pod and grapefruit zest
Weingut Karl Stierschneider-Kartauserhof 2013 Federspiel Achleiten Riesling
lots of mineral stoniness with citrus pith and a dry refreshing finish

Double Shot of Gruner Veltliner from Domaine Wachau
2012 Smaragd Axpoint (cooler temps, deeper soils) vs 2012 Smaragd Achleiten (rocky gravelly soils)
Axpoint: apricot fruit with citrus pith and fresh peas
Achleiten: more mineral but with juicier fruit, pear and lemon pith on finish
Both: *** 1/2+
Weingut Alfred Schwaiger 2013 Marienfeld Federspiel Gruner Veltliner
lots of freshness in the glass with pear and mineral riding the wave
*** 1/2+
Double Shot of Riesling from Weingut Alfred Schwaiger
2013 Kollmitz Federspiel - lots of mineral
2013 Kollmitz Smaragd - lots of fruit
Both: *** 1/2+

Weingut FJ Gritsch Mauritiushof 2013 Atzberg Obere Steilterrassen Gruner Veltliner
only 4-6 year old vines on the steepest slope in the valley (70% grade)
grown on the cooler west side of the valley - this wine was young and vibrant, fruity and clean
Weingut FJ Gritsch Mauritiushof 2013 Setzberg Smaragd Riesling
this is a big mineral driven Riesling with lots of green apple notes on the finish
Salomon Undhof 1971 Weiden Gruner Veltliner
not often you get to try a 43 year old Gruner - and even better, it was amazing;
hard to describe but also hard to forget
Another Study in Terroir and Riesling, this time from Salomon Undhof
2011 Steiner Kogl 1otw Reserve - nice weight, apple core, peach pit, quite fruit driven
2011 Pfaffenberg 1otw Reserve "Metternich & Salomon" - firm minerality with citrus pith and zest
Both: ****
Weingut Schloss Gobelsburg 2012 Renner 1otw Reserve Gruner Veltliner
all stainless steel - fruit forward with peach and apricot and nice mineral background
Weingut Schloss Gobelsburg 2012 Heiligenstein 1otw Reserve Riesling
10 month oak ferment yet shows none of it - stoney and minerally with green apple
singing on the palate; elegant and full of finesse
Weingut Brandl 2012 Kogelberg 1otw Reserve Riesling
- rock beside bottle is the type of soil the grapes grow in -
this wine absolutely screams minerality in the glass balance with bracing acidity

Now here's a way in which to bring the idea of how soil helps bring wine to life
Weingut Weszeli Terrafactum 2013 Loiserberg Riesling
green apple, peach, mineral with a dry stoney finish
Weingut Weszeli Terrafactum 2013 Purus Reserve Gruner Veltliner
nice balance of mineral and pea pod on the finish
nice grapefruit zest through mid-palate
*** 1/2+

Lunch ... (this was what was on the buffet, that does not mean I ate everything)

Spinach "Lasagna" and potatoes
Spaetzel and Beef Roulade
And there was also a fridge of wines to choose from

The Afternoon ...
was spent here (a French Bistro) with some fellow writers watching Greece lose to Columbia (3-0)
With one of these (okay maybe two)

Sights Along the Walk ...
This is an old school taxi stand:
a line of horse-drawn carriages which seem to be all over Vienna
And arrival back at the Holy Moly - again

Premium Estates of Austria (at the Badeshiff) ...
This get together was put on by the Premium Estates of Austria (together since 2004) and was a showcase of great wine and delicious food - the wines were outstanding, especially the older vintage wines, some dating back to 2004.

The Wine List (part 1) - note the black stars on the right to denote 10 year old wines
The Wine List (part2)
Starter wine was this Loimer 2013 Zweigelt / Pinot Noir Rose (*** 1/2+)
Wine of the Night was this Heinrich 2004 Zweigelt (**** 1/2)
This Heinrich 2008 Alter Berg Blaufrankisch was no slouch either (****)
Here Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson holds a 6L bottle of Wieninger 2004 Grand Select Pinot Noir,
while Master Sommelier, John Szabo, awaits picture taking to be over so he can have a glass.

Problem is, the moment you pick up a bottle this size
you become the guy who has to pour for everyone else ...
... and that can be somewhat ...
... tiring because this is a heavy bottle of booze to keep control of
(I know it's blurry but witness that facial expression)
Wineinger 2004 Grand Select Pinot Noir (****) - the "pouring show" above (*****)
Heinrich 2004 Pannobile, a Zweigelt / Blaufrankisch blend (****)
Best guess this is a 9L bottle: I poured this one.
John Szabo is seduced by a glass of Blaufrankisch - or is it the other way around?
(or John Szabo gives his best smoky look for a smoky wine)
you chose.
This wine got to us later in the evening, but we were all blown away by this
Loimer 2004 Seeberg Riesling, which barely showed its age (****+)
The party goes on aboard the boat
And still more guests come - they must have heard the wines were amazing
(did I mention that already)
Meanwhile, this was the scene below deck
(trust me when I say this picture looks better than it actually was)
Saying goodbye and good-night to the Holy Moly
And hello to the Kursalon
The Big Austrian Wine Party (at the Kursalon)

A much more formal affair then what we just came from ...
... complete with live band ...

... a large outdoor patio ...
... and a theme: "Rise like a Phoenix"
Inside, Managing Director of Austrian Wine Marketing,
Wilhelm (Willi) Klinger, puts on a show
And with that we'll bid a fond farewell to the Kursalon
with a last look at the building and the patio ...
"below deck" in this place was also much different - as you can imagine.

No comments: