Monday, June 16, 2014

Report from ... Austria: Vie Vinum 2014, Day 5 - June 16, 2014

It's the last day of Vie Vinum and my last day in Austria ... I probably tasted less wine today than in the previous two days, but I tried better wines - that's what picking and choosing your way through rooms will do instead of just trying to get through a whole room.  As you will see in the pictures below, an attempt to get through a whole room would be a daunting task for anyone.  As is customary in many on my of my trips, I take a picture of the breakfast room on the last day, and where I begin my morning is where we shall start today's pictorial look ...

Morning starts here ...
today we find Sheila Swerling-Puritt (left) and Evan Saviolidis
discussing either the day at hand or the events of yesterday
This area is attached and is where we get our croissant, fruit, granola,
eggs, toast, coffee, tea - or whatever you need to start your day with

Then we set off for the Hofburg - and every morning I see something
different that catches my eye ... today it's these vaguely phallic umbrellas
Arrival at the Hofburg --- Once more unto the breach
First stop is the media room to pick up tickets for tonight's dinner

Never been here all week; hey they have computers ...

The Wines ... (and a look at the building we are tasting in)
Weingut Muller 2013 Gruner Veltliner, Further Gottschelle Reservea single vineyard Gruner harvested in late November and aged 10 months in large casks;
has a nice mid-weight mid-palate, pea pod and light citrus
*** 1/2+
Weingut Muller 2013 Riesling, Goldberg Reserve
another single vineyard wine this one is loaded with wet rock nuances:
stony mineral and light peach pit
*** 1/2+
Weingut Gottfried Mittelbach 2013 Gruner Veltliner, Rosshimmel
made using wild yeast and 3 months in stainless steel during fermentation, then aged in oak for 6 months
aromas of crushed peas pods and lemon pith; palate is creamy with fresh peas, orange peel and mineral
all with a nice backbone of acidity holding it all together

Winzer Krems 2013 Gruner Veltliner, "13"
number represents their address on Sandgrube ... this one is a new listing on LCBO shelves in Ontario
fresh and fruity with bright grapefruit and pea pods - refreshing and great for summer salads
*** 1/2+
Winzer Krems 2013 Gruner Veltliner, Edition Chremisa
this one is a real character, first it starts off with some herbal notes, picks up gentle pepper
with apple puree and peach pit - has a creaminess in the mouth yet with a lovley balancing acidity
Winzerhof Hoch 2013 Gruner Veltliner, Hollenburg
nice acidity with a touch of the creamy, notes of grapefruit both pith and pulp
and a nice mineral quality; one of the better Gruners tasted all week

Winzerhof Hoch 2013 Riesling, Hollenburg
green apple backed by peach, limestone, lime zest and a chalky mineral quality that
runs from the front to the back of the palate - refreshing
The unique (for the area) make up of the soil at Hoch - explains that minerality

After two days downstairs I make my way to the next level
Looking back from whence I came ...
At Weingut Josef Bauer I was given a lesson in soil types (this is their front label)
Weingut Josef Bauer 2013 Gruner Veltliner, Spiegel Alte Reben
50+ year old vines and later harvest makes this a very mineral driven wine
backed with tones of white fruit and hints of citrus
*** 1/2+
Weingut Josef Bauer 2013 Gruner Veltliner, Katharina
this wine is named for his daughter - and has a touch of sweetness (a good sign in a daughter)
made from grapes harvest at three different times to retain certain characteristics to the wine
there's the usual crispness and acidity and it is quite refreshing, but due to the harvesting and blending
process it also has a creamy body (now I am not sure what that says about his daughter)
- but this is a very good wine indeed
Weingut Josef Bauer 2013 Florian - Pinot Blanc / Chardonnay
2/3 in stainless steel, 1/3 in wood - all blended before fermentation
and interesting wine with creamy texture, fruitiness: peach and pear and a
touch of vanilla - nice mineral with citrus undertones
*** 1/2+
A look at just one of the maze of rooms to choose from ... and of course look at
the room itself, not just what's in it
This is one interesting stop at the small "food market" within the show -
these are seasoned and roast pumpkin seeds

I ended up buying five kinds, including: Wasabi, Vanilla-Cinnamon, Mint, Sea-Salt,
and Rosemary; what can I say, I'm a sucker for seeds
Last Bottle:
Weingut Hagn 2013 Gruner Veltliner, Hundschupfen
a single vineyard Gruner that fresh and fruity
with citrus and acidity that just sings on the palate
*** 1/2+
Another "hallway" filled with producers and plenty of wine

A quick look at the aforementioned small "food market" ...
... and another, quieter, room - here there are chocolates, preserves
and even an everything with truffle manufacturer
Making my way to the exit
Looking back one more time:  good-bye to Vie Vinum, I hope to come back again
And now it's time for lunch.

Various Pictures from the Afternoon ...
Pick a tunnel.  Any tunnel.
The horse-drawn carriage stand outside the gates of the Hofburg
Austrians love their chocolate ...
this is but one of three walls of the stuff in a grocery store -
surprisingly I didn't buy any ... too overwhelmed with choice???

Hey LCBO, Pay Attention Here ...
Here is a wine display in the Julius Meinl grocery store
6 rows of Austrian wine - 1 of foreign wine (far left)
My favourite label - says it all doesn't it.
And off to Dinner We Go ...
Tonight we're at ON Market for the Closing event, a dinner  created by Simon Xie Hong (according to the AWMB write up "He doesn't embrace trends and conventions:  free from constraints.  Simon cooks what is available at the market and how his finely tuned senses guide him.)  Problem was, serve was incredible slow and by 10:00pm we had only had 3 of 8 course so a few of us left and looked for dinner on our own accord ... here's what happened.

First step is walking the 3km to the event - here we see Vincent (left) and Jessica (middle)
from Montreal and Zoltan Szabo (right) from Toronto Walking thru the heart of Vienna
We pass by the Hofburg palace; here' the first chance to see the tntire building
we tasted in ... no wonder there was a maze of room to taste wine in ...
On out walk we pass by the "Bubble Lady"
No one is sure whether these are her kids or if this is her job ... but it does look like fun

Arrival at ON Market
"It's a beautiful space" says Toronto restaurateur Chris McDonald (Cava)
There are a plethora of wines but only the
Verein Leithaberg 2012 Gruner Veltliner Liegenfeld ...
... and the Salomon Undhof 2013 Wieden & Berg Gruner Veltliner
are truly up to par ... there is a red but we don't get that far

Here's a menu of what we are suppose to be having tonight ...
due to the hour we have only the first three courses
First course ... see above
Second course ... see above
Third course ... see above
Chris McDonald and Zoltan Szabo share a friendly moment
Jamie Drummond (left), Zoltan Szabo (middle) and Evan Saviolidis (right)
take a break between course on the patio
to end the evening we first go back to the hotel, then we walk to here
to get this - falafel - best I've had since I went to Israel some 25 years ago -
and hey, doesn't it look like a smiley face - after eating that's the way I felt inside
 And that's it folk ... the trip to Austria is over as of tomorrow morning - we'll all board a plane and head back to Canada ... it was a memorable time and there were some great wines to be had.

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