I fell in love with mature white wines with "old" Rhône whites. "they" often tell you viognier can't age much, but I have had extraordinary wine moments with wines people would tell you don't make sense.

So I don't give up on wines - I taste them and if they are still good, they remain for sale.

We regularly revisit wines at Alpine Wines to see how they are faring. On certain special Wine Wednesdays we invite friends, bloggers, willing wine students and fellow professionals - whoever is in the area - to taste with us.

This Wednesday there were just 3 of us we kept is short and sweet, tasting 2 fairly mature Austrian whites. These weren't flagship wines and not made to be kept for 9 or 10 years, so there is always a risk. But when a winemaker works well, there is no reason a white wine can't keep a long time. Knowing how obsessively both winemakers work, I expected them to still be nice, but I still wasn't expecting to be wowed like I was.

These wines have no right to be as good and intersting as they are!

Also, these wines should have sold out long ago, and I clearly haven't done my job since they haven't. Seriously nice stuff.

There's around 36 bottles left of each, so grab them and love them!

Chardonnay 2008

Harald Breitenfelder


In the words of one of our tasters: "I don't like Chardonnay, but this... this I'm taking home". If this wine doesn't sell out soon, it will be a crime. This is a gem. And the 2011 is more of the same 😀

Right after opening the wine was still a bit subdued, but within 20 minutes it had blossomed. Well, we probably should stay fruited. And the mango from our original tasting years ago is still here. There is surprising freshness still and my favourite mineral note, hot rocks on a summer day. In the mouth this could be 2 years old. An airy lemon start, heart of vanilla, and then the mangoand spice join in, for a finish that is very peppery indeed.

I enjoyed it even more as the wine got warmer in the glass, too warm it was still delicious.

The finish feels a little short at first, but then as we chatted the wine kept coming back - lemonade zing, then calm, then exotic fruit, then calm again, a spice flare, then quiet...

If you forgive me the metaphor (and even if you don't), this wine's finish is straight out of "Columbo" - you think it's gone and then... "one more thing: did you notice the mango?"

Like Columbo, It'll get you in the end.

I have saved a bottle to try with tandoori and chicken tikka this weekend. This should be a match made in heaven.


Riesling Classic 2007

Erich Altenriederer

2006/2007 are the years when Erich Altenriederer really started to impress us. The last time we had tasted this wine we had found it a little light. A pleasant fresh riesling, still very enjoyable. Citrussy was the main theme.

Well it is back with a second wind.

The citrus notes from the previous tasting are still here but they are not alone.

First out of the gate are the classic petroleum notes - you don't always get these in Austrian riesling, they weren't there in the wine's youth but they are here now in all their animal-mineral beauty.

The wine does show the patina of age, very harmonious tertiary notes (it is Riesling after all and Riesling ages very well). It remained zingy - we finished it at supper several hours later and it had not changed. There was a sweetness of spun sugar in the nose - I think that is the tertiary notes coming through again.

It suffered a little in comparison with the Breitenfelder simply because the latter surprised us so much. But it is a great little dining wine - we had it with piccata and risotto milanese and it was a delicious match.

It will soon be asparagus season. I would try this with a hollandaise - putting a touch of the wine in the hollandaise too and perhaps a dash of nutmeg.