Austrian wine adventures; Part 1 – An introduction


Some would say it’s complete madness, serving the Gernot and Heike Heinrich 2006 Salzberg next to the 2006 Chateau Mouton-Rotschild in a blind tasting. I say it’s a sign of confidence.

Four days of intense traveling in the regions of Wien, Carnuntum and Burgenland are over. Filled with impressions from the respective regions, great meetings and lots of wines, it’s time to sum it up;  what do I bring with me home? What have I learned?

First of all; thanks to AWMB, Blaufränkisch is now definitely put on the map. I’ve had some really fine examples before but now, having tasted more than 100 Blaufränkisch wines in Burgenland, I know this is a grape to follow. Passionate growers, old vines, curiosity and a will to reach for the top. Put a highly potential late-ripening grape to that, a variety with focused bouquet and flavors and high acidity.

Secondly; the DAC’s of Leithaberg and Eisenberg are worth following more closely, especially Leithaberg impressed.

Third; this I knew but it must be said again; Austria produces some of the best white wines in the world, be it Grüner Veltliner or Riesling. Purity at its finest. But don’t forget about delicious Gemischter Satz, Weissburgunder or fabulous Chardonnay.

Fourth; if you’re into sweet stuff, then Austria and the Neusiedler see probably has the best possible prerequisites in the world.

Fifth; Zweigelt is a chameleon. It comes in various suits and you need to know what style you prefer. Still a lot of searching for identity amongst growers in Carnuntum.

Sixth; I. Need. To. Have. Some. More. Gemischter Satz!

Seventh; Sorry to say it but the fish in Neusiedler See should stay in the lake…

Eighth; I’d probably end up looking like one, but Wienerschnitzel is super killer awesome!

Ninth; Marillenbrand rocks!

Tenth; last but not least, the people of Austria. Generous and friendly!

For the coming weeks, the focus here on Wine Virtuosity will be on the three mentioned regions. Think I’m in love…..again.

PS. In a blind tasting at Schloss Esterházy last week, the AWMB served the Salzberg next to the Mouton-Rotschild.