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Austrian Wine Tasting at Leeds University

Only rarely do you manage to have a wine tasting where all the people are pleased all of the time. This was one of them.

Despite being a mainly 'red' group, the members of the LUUWS found a new appreciation for white wines thanks to the quality presented in this introduction to Austrian wines.

 

LUUWS
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Klostersekt

Stift Klosterneuburg

 

Cuvée comprising 60 percent Welschriesling and 40 percent Grüner Veltliner. Its fragrant fruit aroma is invigorating and refreshing. Aged in Steel. This sparkling classic is characterised by clear, fresh and fruity aromas of apples and lime on the nose.

I chose this as a sparkling wine is often a good palate cleanser to start a tasting and because it is fabulous.

It was very popular in the room with a number of people stating a preference for it compared to Champagne. Indeed, one person bought a bottle on the spot for Mothering Sunday!

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Pinot Blanc

Harald Breitenfelder

Ripe, balanced aroma with delicate nutty overtones. Rich and full-bodied on the palate. A Pinot with a lot of elegance and harmony.

I had to select this wine as it is one of my all-time favourites. Despite the date on the bottle it always seems as fresh as a new wine with an explosion of flavour and smell that is pure joy.

My feelings about this wine were echoed in the room as the group started to come to terms with the fact that white wines can be as special as reds. (Remarks were made privately three times that they had never seen the group enjoy white wines so much. Hoorah for quality!)

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Grüner Veltliner Holzgasse

Walter Buchegger

A beautiful yellow/lychee colour entices you in. The nose is dominated by green apple and lychee with a hint of yeast. On the palate this is a light, mouthfilling wine that tastes of an orchard in summer. Soft apple flavours linger for a long while. The balance is utterly perfect.

I chose this as you cannot give an introduction to Austrian wines without having the four main indigenous grapes of Austria. Grüner Veltliner is one of these.

Another white and another success! The room loved this superb expression of the Grüner Veltliner grape.

 

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Riesling Reserve

Weinhof Waldschütz

A bright rich yellow with golden highlights and strong viscosity lights up the eyes of the taster. After swirling the glass, the initial hint of peach fragrance in the nose, followed by exotic fruit notes and a delicate hint of Acacia blossom honey. Besides this, you will find pleasant mineral notes, which can be attributed to the Donaurollschotter - the loose Danube gravel. Riesling Reserve has distinctive complexity and a creamy finesse. Goes with rich, succulent fish dishes, like braised Perch in sauce, but also with red meat – steak in particular.

Probably the most versatile grape in the world and so beautifully expressed in Austria, this wine picked itself. There were many Rieslings to choose from but this 2014 from Waldschutz has already become a firm favourite.

Following on from the Holzgasse, this wine had a lot to live up to which it did brilliantly. Yet another room favourite.

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Rotgipfler Rodauner

Freigut Harald Zierer

A very versatile wine. Goes extremely well with patés and foie gras, with pork dishes and veal, with fish and seafood. Can hold its own with wild game as well as an alternative to red wine. A good wine for asian dishes too.

The first mention of this variety comes from Styria in 1840. The Rotgipfler should be a cross between Traminer and red Veltliner. The name comes from the reddish shoot tips  which one very clearly sees in the spring.

We tasted this at HQ a couple of weeks before this tasting and I immediately put it in for Leeds. What an astonishing white wine! Visually, all expectations lean towards white characteristics but, when smelled and tasted, it could be a red.

The room loved this. Such an unusual white wine, with tremendous body and depth.

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Pinot Noir

Josef Lentsch

An absolutely classic expression of Pinot Noir, and a real find. This wine from Josef Lentsch has good depth of colour and a classic Pinot Noir nose, slightly pungent and with a hint of smoke, with plums, cooked red fruits and dark berries, all reflected on the palate. Good length. Really nice to drink on its own or with food.

I chose this out of necessity as the Sankt Laurent I wanted was out of stock. I am glad that I did as this was lovely. It really showed off the grape in all its glory.

After five whites (all very much enjoyed) the room was looking forward to the first red. It was hugely enjoyed by Pinot Noir lovers and those less familiar with the grape.

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Blaufränkisch Classic

Weingut Günter & Regina Triebaumer

A classic, inviting Blaufränkisch - black cherries and black pepper. Try this one to understand what the fuss is all about :) One of our top recommended wines for Christmas dinner. Juicy, spicy and dense and quite simply delicious.

Purple with a dark violet rim. Intensive nose of cherries and black pepper. Stewed sour cherries with a hint of vanilla and lilac, spicy and dense, Sun-warmed dark berries. Dry, lively & juicy Blaufränkisch-fruit, very classic style, finely wound tannin structure, inviting flavours of dark berries and cherries with a long zesty and lively finish.

Another of the absolute must-have Austrian grapes. Any wine by Triebaumer is worth tasting so this was a simple choice.

As a very good value-for-money wine, as well as a superb tasting wine (this won three top awards from the Sommelier Wine Awards in 20145) this was the favourite wine of the night. Some members had brought a selection of food with them and tested the versatility of this wine with tomatoes, cheeses and meats. It worked with all!

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Rubin Carnuntum

Franz & Christine Netzl

Only the regionally typical variety Zweigelt may be used for the production of Rubin Carnuntum, a vine that thrives in the favourable microclimate of the Leitha Range and the Danube meadows. Rubin Carnuntum wines are presented with the region’s symbol, the Heidentor, on the capsule.

Another grape that picks itself as Zweigelt is an Austrian speciality. We love Netzl's wines and this is no exception.

A good bold red to please the assembly and they were certainly pleased. I think that the fresh fruitiness of the previous wine may have made this seem a little harsh at first but, once a couple of sips had been taken, approval was given.

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Cronos

Erich Sattler

This blend of St. Laurent, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon from Sattler in Burgenland combines the best qualities of their varieties to create a very special wine experience. A nose of red fruits, plums and oak notes created by 15 months in wooden barrels. Delicious aromas of caramel, vanilla, chocolate and a hint of clove spice give Cronos a versatile flavour profile that unfolds with great fullness on the palate and provides a long finish. 

I love this wine and that is an excellent reason for choosing it!

The room loved it too. People drooped dramatically when sampling it for the first time.

Sadly, there are only five bottles remaining and they are all at Alpine Wines HQ and not in the warehouse. Call if you would like one of the few remaining.

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