Food, wine, travel, music
Tasting by Joe Karwig 15 January 2014
I invited Joe Karwig from Karwig wines http://www.karwigwines.com to see if he could prove to a group of friends that Austrian wines are worth a chance. His selection was convincing. A return to Austria is now on the wish list to see where these superb wines are made.
2012 Gruner Veltliner Kremser Sandgrube comes from Johann Strauss in Kremstal, a small area towards the north of the country. Grown in Austria and accounting for a third of its vineyards, Gruner Ventliner is a grape variety to get to know. It’s fresh, fruity and this one has medium weight of fruit, so delicious as an aperitif. A beautifully made wine from a man with a great name.
2011 Riesling Sausal from Wohlmuth. From the Styria (also known as Steiermark) region, a large area in the south bordering on Slovenia, Riesling is grown on black, blue and red slate soil. This one is cultivated on red slate in highlands ideal for the longer growing period Riesling needs to be at its best. Mineral hints on the nose and full fruit make this a delicious wine which will keep for another three years if you want to hold some back to see what will happens with it. Wohlmuth is a name that never disappoints.
2010 Sauvignon Blanc Steinriegel from Wohlmuth. Multiple award-winning as one of the top ten Sauvignon Blancs in the world, this big wine has full fruitiness, more Loire like in flavours with none of the grassiness and gooseberry hints of New World Sauvignons. Delicious!
2011 Gelber Muscateler Steinriegel from Wohlmuth in Styria is made from yellow (gelb) grapes which are a cross between muscatel petit grains and muscatel. This delivers a strong muscat, fruity, nose, has light to medium fruit and a typically sweet (but not sugary) fruitiness which suits spicy food which needs this kind of wine for balance. I fancy it with a salty cheese salad.
2008 Gewurtztraminer Steinriegel from Wohlmuth in Styria. Though not exclusively grown in Austria, this is a delicious example of the Gewurtztraminer grape. With good length, plenty of fruit, it’s ideal for spicy foods and salads with vinegar based dressings. It has aged beautifully and needs to be drunk now.
2009 Blaufrankisch from Wohlmuth in Styria is a red wine made from the Baufrankisch grape, knows as Lemberger in Germany and USA, and as Franconia in Italy. This version has the typically high tannins smoothed out to make an elegant, easy drinking wine with good acidity to suit food. Excellent!
2008 Zweigelt Reserve from Strauss in Kremstal in the north. Dr. Friedrich Zweigelt, born in 1888 was an Austrian biologist and viticulturist who crossed European grapes to create Rotburger which later became known as Zweigelt. With good body, good tannic structure for a satisfying mouthful, it’s a delicious food wine. Drink this vintage now for best value.
2009 Aristos from Wohlmuth. From the Burgenland region which in the east borders on Hungary with small borders onto Slovakia and Slovenia, this wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Blaufrankisch. The flavours were little green with plenty of fruit. I would keep this a few years and enjoy it with meat.
2005 Rabenkropf from Wohlmuth in Burgenland. Made from handpicked grapes, this top wine of the Wohlmuth stable is a treat. At around €30, it’s as good as any more expensive red wine from many other wine regions. Gorgeous!