Dienstag, 29. Dezember 2009


It´s always a bit strange if you find yourself on the news ... but funny as well, as people approach you on the street and say "whoo ... I´ve heard about you on the radio!!"

Freitag, 25. Dezember 2009

Frohe Weihnachten/Boun Natale/Merry Christmas

I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2010 with loads of new exiting wines.

Cheers Franz

Sonntag, 13. Dezember 2009

Falstaff Winners tasting notes

I got the opportunity to taste the three Falstaff winners yesterday and with two Blaufränkisch among them one has to note that there is a shift in the trend with high end Austrian red wines. Wine critics and journalists are pushing the common (wine) interest strongly in the Blaufränkisch direction. Arguments like „Austrias red wine profile can only be sharpened with single vartietal wines“ is in someway ridiculous if one thinks just about Bordeaux ... blends all over (with some exceptions). But as the wine media is highly influential on the wine industry in every country there will be more single varietal top wines coming up pretty soon. If that´s all for the better future will show.

Find my tasting notes of the three winner wines and some others below: (all prices count for Wein&Co.)

1.Chablis 2007 from Simonnet-Febvre - ok - €15,99

pale yellow hue, distinctive phenolic compounds covering the fruit completely on the nose, lacks acid backbone, a rather dull and unentertaining wine.

2. Blaufränkisch Reihburg 2007 from Weingut Uwe Schiefer - delicious - €46,45

middle red hue, purple reflections, dark berry fruit, bit underwood, tar-like earthyness, licorice, very good acid and tannin structure, sour cherries, lingering.

3. Blaufränkisch Perwolff 2007 from Weingut Krutzler 2007 - very good/delicious - €52,50

middle red hue with a purple rim, still quite young color, fruitfoward berry flavors on the nose, good structure, quite pronounced acid structure, lingering.

4. Reve de Jeunesse 2007 from Weingut Pöckl - extraordinary - €64,13

deep dark red hue, black core, hints of anisseed, Cassis and chocolate flavors on the nose, smooth but very powerful tannin structure, multilayered, reveals more and more after several hours in the decanter, mocha, dried plums, licorice, extremely lingering. Will greatly improve with further cellaring.

5. Blaufränkisch Spiegel 2007 from Weingut Paul Achs - delicious - €51,08

dark red hue, purple reflections, watery rim, powerfull dark fruit and spices on the nose, chocolate and mocha, smooth tannin structure but with the typical BF acid backbone, lingering, after the same time in the decanter like all other wines flavors fading away - maybe to little free SO2!

Sonntag, 6. Dezember 2009

Pinot Noirs all over the world

Last months tasting club theme was Pinot Noir all over the world. As one can suppose all wines were really gorgeous, well structured and first of all purely elegant.

1. Vosne Rommanée 1er Cru 2004 from Domaine René Engel - delicious - €50
bright brick red with orange reflexions, slightly watery edge, elegant berry fruit, smokey peppery spice, bit licorice on the nose, very spicy on the palate with gorgeous length, very good balance of tannins and acid, gets better and better with more O2, lingering and multilayered.

2. Pinot Noir 2004 from Quartz Reef - very good - €37
bit darker brick red as 1, hints of cassis, fruit forward style, spices on the nose, fresh fruity and good acid structure on the palate, bit strawberry, good length, forrest fruits, raspberry, with more O2 the wine lingers more and more on the palate, nice complexity of tannin and acid structure.

3. Pinot Noir "P" from Weinhof Fritsch 2002 - very good - €24
smooth flavors, spices but not overly prominent, very good balance and length, fruit forward palate, very smooth on the palate.

4. Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma 2002 from Littorai - (very good) - €78
bright red, orange-brownish reflexions, small watery rim, bit short, maybe a cork taint ... cork taint verified by the other tasters.

5. Großkarlbacher Burgweg Spätburgunder 2001 from Weingut Knipser - very good/delicious - €25
very light red with orange-brown shades, very spicy and super typical Pinot perfume, extremely good structural balance of tannins and acid, forest fruits, bit underwood, very good length and loads of spices on the palate.

6. Pinot Noir Grand Select 2004 from Weingut Wieninger - delicious/extraordinary - €37
fair crimson color with changeable purple-orange reflexions, super fruity, black and raspberries, loads of spices, wet forest floor, black pepper and licorice, just traceable hints of aniseed, extremely well balanced, genius length. (my favorite!!)

Dienstag, 1. Dezember 2009

MondoVino 2009

This years MondoVino, hosted by Wein&Co in the gorgeous ambience of the Hofburg, was again a melting pot for wines from all over the world. As one could taste up to 2000 different wines, bubblies and some harder stuff a careful upfront decision was necessary. My choice was Italy and France as I get the chance to taste Austrian wines more regularly. Find enclosed my tasting notes.

Note: All wines were tasted open and all price information counts for Wein&Co.


Winery Salentein/Mendoza
1. Callia Magna Tannat 2007 - good - €9,99
dark, bold and structured, spent six month in partly new and used barriques.
2. Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005 - good - €12,99
very fruitforward appealing style, smooth tannin, good balanced.
3. Malbec Reverve 2006 - good - €12,99
fruitforward and spicy, bit meaty and some green flavors on midpalate.


Chateau Angelus
4. Fleur de Boüard 2007 - very good - €27,90
80%ME, rest CS/CF, fruity, very structured, still young, with prominent tannins, lingering.
5. Angelus 2007 - delicious - €169,90
62%ME, 38%CF, fruitforward, with super soft tannin structure, loads of spices on the palate, lingering.

Chateau Palmer
6. Alter Ego 2007 - good/very good - €39,90
fruity, bit green, but very good structure and balance, lingering.
7. Palmer 2007 - very good - €169,90
restrained fruit with green hints, super soft tannin structure, lingering.

Chateau Branne Cantenac
8. Baron de Branne 2007 - good - €19,99
fruitforward, sour cherries, but a bit one dimensional.
9. Branne Cantenac 2007 - good/very good - €39,99
fruitforward style, forest fruits, complex, very balanced with RS.

Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere
10. Clos de l´Oratoire 2007 - very good - €29,99
fruity, spicy, bit meaty, super soft tannin structure, lingering.
11. Canon La Gaffeliere 2007 - good - €64,90
traces of Brett, spicy and soft tannins, bit alcoholic finish.

Chateau Giscours
12. Sirène de Giscours 2007 - very good - €19,99
fruitforward, very good tannin structure, CS driven on the palate, lingering.
13. Giscours 2007 - very good/delicious - €44,90
CS driven fruit, oak and spices, still very young, very structured, lingering, will massively improve with further aging.

Chateau Pichon Longueville
14. Les Tourelles de Pichon Longueville 2007 - still ok - €34,90
strong traces of Brett, restrained, lean body.
15. Pichon Baron 2007 - very good/delicious - €89,90
pure mocha flavors, very distinctive on the palate, very structured, super lingering.

Chateau Phélan Segur
16. Frank Phélan 2006 - corc - €19,99
Actually I claimed this bottle as corc tainted but was refused to get another sip from a second bottle. Very rude!!
17. Phélan Segur 2007 - very good - €31,90
coffee and mocha flavors dominating on the nose, cigar-box, some green hints, smooth tannins, good length.


La Valentina
18. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007 - ok - €9,99
quite reductive, but it blows of after a while, fruity, very soft tannin structure, bit alcoholic.
19. Montepuciano d'Abruzzo Spelt 2007 - ok - €18,99
overripe fruit, hints of Brett, very balanced with RS.

Conte Brandolini
20. Pinot Grigio 2008 - good - €9,99
bit rustic and some phenolic traces on the palate, lemon fruit, fresh finish.
21. Friulano 2008 - ok - €9,99
rather neutral on the nose, lean and short on the palate.
22. Merlot Vistorta - ok - €21,90
spicy and a bit vegetal, jammy (strangely enough as vegetal is more underripe and jammy overripe fruit??) acetone detectable, hints of Brett, overoaked.

23. Pinot Grigio 2008 - good - €12,99
restrained fruit, bit rustic and phenolic, good fruit on the palate, good length.
24. Ribolla Gialla 2008 - good - €12,99
fresh and fruity (like our Sämling), good length but lack acid structure.

25. Dolcetto 2008 - good - €12,99
super fruity, pure red currant, easy drinking.
26. Barbera 2008 - very good - €13,99
fruity, spicy, sour cherries on the palate, good acid-tannin balance.
27. Barolo 2005 - very good - €36,90
tar, quite typical on the nose, very good tannin structure, lingering.
28. Barolo Conca 2005 - very good/delicious - €59,90
tar and roses, very good balanced, quite modern style, super lingering.

29. Rosé 2008 - good - €9,99
100% SY, strawberries on the nose, slightly phenolic, good balanced with RS.
30. Chardonnay 2008 - good - €27,99
100% new oak, biscuit and vanilla, bold wine, very smooth.
31. La Segreta Rosso 2008 - good - €9,99
unwooded, Nero d´Avola, CF, ME, SY, fruit forward style, spicy, smooth tannin structure, good.
32. Syrah 2006 - very good - €27,99
pure black berries, super spicy, eucalyptus flavors, very good length, just a slightly alcoholic finish prevents a higher rating.
33. Santa Cecilia - very good - €27,99
spices with dried fruits on the nose, very good balance between acid and tannins.

Alois Lageder
34. Pinot Grigio Riff 2008 - ok/good - €9,99
perfumed nose, spicy, rustic, rather phenolic on the palate.
35. Pinot Bianco - ok/good - €12,99
fruity, pears on the nose, like 34. quite phenolic on the palate.
36. Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio - ok - €19,99
certified biodynamic, rustic, phenolic palate, quite an unpleasant wine.
37. Lagrein Alto Adige - ok - €16,99
slightly reductive, bright purple color, sour cherries, bit lactic.

Barone Ricasoli
38. Chianti 2007 - ok/good - €9,99
rather simple, balanced with RS, bit inharmonic with acid structure.
39. Chianti Classico Riserva "Rocca Guicciardia" 2006 - good - €19,99
restrained nose, good acid-tannin structure, good length.
40. Campo Ceni 2007 - good - €12,99
6 month in oak, fruity, good tannin structure, good length.
41. Brolio Chianti Classico 2007 - very good - €16,99
fruity and complex on the nose, good tannin structure, 9 months in second filled barrels, lingering.
42. Castello di Brolio 2005 - very good - €34,90
very spicy on the nose, good balance between acid and tannin structure, good length, still young.

Tenuta di Biserno
43. Insoglio 2007 - good/very good - €19,99
fresh´n fruity on the nose, sour cherries, very smooth tannin structure, good length.
44. Il Pino di Biserno - very good - €44,99
CS fruit dominating, hints of green flavors, soft tannins, slightly bitter finish.
45. Biserno 2006 - delicious - €99
CF/ME, 15 month oak, puristic Cabernet Franc flavors on the nose, bit restrained, still very young, super dense on the palate, very good tannin structure, extremely lingering, smooth.

Casa Brancaia
46. Tre 2007 - good - €13,99
fresh and fruity on the nose, quite a good acid structure, good length.
47. Chianti Classico DOCG 2006 - good/very good - €24,99
16 months oak, 50 % new, a typical Chianti, rather smooth tannins, good length.
48. Ilatraia 2006 - very good - €44,99
bold, structured wine, soft tannins, good length.
49. Il Blu 2006 - very good - €47,99
20 months oak, 2/3 new, very structured but good balanced, lingering.

50. Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva 2005 - yech - €24,99
overripe, Brett, Brett yeast have totally distorted this wine, inharmonic.
51. Brunello Pian delle Vigne 2004 - yech - €49,90
super Brett and RS, nothing else.
52. Tignanello 2006 - very good/delicious - €59,90
bit restrained, (but the bottle was just opened this moment), super tannin structure, very good length, bit plasticine.

53. Brunello 2004 - very good - €32,90
fruity, good acid structure, super tannins, very typical.

Sori del Gibbellino
54. Barolo 2004 - good/very good - €23,90
bit restrained fruit, tar and roses, quite typicla, super soft Barolo.

55. Valpolicella Classico 2008 - good/very good - €9,99
super fruity, green edge on the palate, easy drinking.
56. Ripasso Valpolicella 2007 - very good - €19,99
fruity, super soft tannin structure with good acid backbone, good length.
57. Amarone die Valpolicella - good/very good - €49,90
fruity, bit overripe, but typical, slightly alcoholic finish.

58. Valpolicella Classico 2008 - good/very good - €12,99
fruity, smooth tannin structure, good length, slightest hints of Brett.
59. Palazzo de la Torre 2006 - ok/good - €19,99
jammy, bit overripe flavors, dried grapes, 15 months oak, again this hints Brett.
60. Amarone DOC 2005 - ok - €57,90
eucalyptus, overripe flavors, super soft tannins, RS, alcoholic finish (15%abv!!)
61. Soave 2008 - ok - €9,99
ripe yellow apples, bit exotic, rather high in color, lacks some acid structure, bit phenolic on the palate.
62. Valpolicella Pagus from Corte Giara 2008 - good/very good - €6,99
sour cherries and spices, smooth tannin structure, good length, easy drinking.

Mittwoch, 18. November 2009

Pizza and Barbera

Tonight we tested once more the pairing ability of Italian wines and Italian food. Home-made pizza (Mozzarella cheese, anchovies, capers, herbs ... quite a difficult one to pair) and Elio Altare´s Barbera d´Alba 2008 was our favorite wine/food pairing.

Barbera d´Alba 2008 from viticoltore Elio Altare - good - €17,50 (Pub Klemo)
fairly purple red, cherries and sour cherries, black pepper on the nose, good acid structure, fruit forward on the palate, refreshing, nice typical Barbera style.

Donnerstag, 5. November 2009

Celebration times ..

Today was a rather important day in my life. As the first student in Austria I´ve finished my Masters in Quality Viticulture and Marketing. My family and some friends celebrated this day with good food and even better wines. In this post I want to reward the most impressive wine of the day and I am glad and thankful it´s an Austrian!! (Let it be foreigner ... insider joke!!)

Sauvignon Blanc "Reipersberg" 2008 from Weingut Gschweicher - delicious
lychee pure on the nose, mango and passion fruit, ripe peaches, exotic fruit basket, bell pepper, hints of freshly grounded white pepper, multilayered and complex, very good and integrated acid structure, all flavors are mirrored on the palate, lingering, very gorgeous SB.

Sonntag, 1. November 2009

Stunning Traminers ...

Today we´ve tasted some really rare and highly rewarded Traminers. Traminer or Gewürztraminer is an astonishing variety as the wines show almost always a very prominent perfume of Rose petals, lychee, aniseed, minerality (depending on the soil grown), a bunch of exotic flavors and so on. Traminers are very versatile in style ... dry, off dry and even sweet ... always perfect companions to goose liver, spicy Asian food, noodles and not to forget Christmas delights. Find below my tasting notes of some really great wines.

1. Gewürztraminer 2008 from Weingut Lentsch (dry) - very good/delicious - €7,00
yellow gold, CO2 still visible, exploding fruit on the nose, Rose petals and lychee, very typical in style, dry on the palate, could do with more residual sugar, potential, as wine on it´s own a perfect Traminer.

2. Gewürztraminer "Wielitsch" 2008 from Weingut Tement (dry) - ok/good - €22,98 (Wein&Co)
golden yellow hue, hints of Rose petals, quite restrained on the nose, little bit of oak detectable but nicely integrated, dried apples and cinnamon, balanced but with good acid backbone, doesn´t show much fruit on the palate and bit short.

3. Traminer "von den alten Reben" 2006 form Weingut Schellmann (not stated - even when it´s not legal in Autria if the wine is a quality wine but !! ) - delicious - €27
golden hue, overwhelming perfume of roses, lychee, gingerbread and cinnamon, a touch of botrytis, powerful and sweet on the palate, lingering, extreme in every way, a wine not for a usual day. (extremely heavy bottle - 905g!!)

4. Muskat Ottonel 2008 from Weingut Pillinger 2008 (off dry) - ok/good - €3,40
This one was the pirate - as Muskat definitely a nice wine but in comparison to these bold Traminers ...
musky, not really fruit forward, a little bit harsh on the palate but in an easy-drinking style, simple good.

5. Traminer 07/08 from Rotes Haus am Nussberg (off dry) - good - about €20 (don´t remember exactly)
golden hue, hints of Rose petals, exotic but not exiting, rather flat on the palate with an aloholic finish.

6. Gewürztraminer "Spätlese" 2008 from Weingut Lentsch (sweet) - very good - €5,50
golden hue, powerful flavor, rose petals and lychee, dried fruits (dates and figs), nice sugar and acid balance, lingering.

Mittwoch, 21. Oktober 2009

Red wines from Spain ...

A recent tasting of red wines from spain showed us clearly that branding doesn´t really help if one tasted blind! Variety or even the country of origin can be insurmountable obstacles. On the other hand ... if one has to taste red wine without any hint, the wine could be from anywhere in the world and the line up of the wines had great influence too.
Our conclusion was that new technologies in the vineyards and the cellar are definitely improving the quality of wine, but they are also masking the origin (even more so if the winemaker has a modern style of winemaking). Anyway the wines were great and again we had to acknowledge the most memorable saying from our sensory classes: "I would have never thought that!!"

1. Tempranillo 2007, Vino de la tierra de Castilla from Ercavio - good - €9,99 (Wein&Co)
middle deep hue with purple rim, fresh and fruitforward on the nose, spicy, black pepper and a bit of dried fruit, soft tannins and a fruitdriven palate, bit short.

2. DO Bierzo (Mencia) 2007 from Pétalos - good/very good - €19,99 (Wein&Co)
deep ruby red, still purple, oaky touch (american oak??), vanilla and dark berries, integrated tannins, good length, pleasantly bitter finish.

3. Rioja Reserva 2004 from Conde de Valdemar - good/very good - €14,99 (Wein&Co)
purple core with slightly orange rim, spicy peppery fruit with hints of berries, bit dried fruits too, bit acetone, prominent tannin and acid structure, good length, rather lean, with more air a leathery touch appears.

4. Clos Mogador 2006 (Garnacha, Carinena) DO Priorat - very good - €79 (Wein&Co)
very youthful color, very dense hue, purple, fruitforward, meaty hints, very soft tannin but structured, velvety, good balanced, berry jam, licorice, extract sweet.

5. Uno DO Valencia 2006 (Monastrell) from Rafael Cambra - very good - €19,99 (Wein&Co)
dark hue, purple- youthful, slight watery edge, very fruitforward, eucalypt, dark berries, pleasant "green" touch, good tannin structure, very good length, ripe juicy tannins, New World style.

6. Tempranillo Reserva de la familia 2007 vino de la tierra de Castilla from Finca Munoz - very good - €5,99 (Rewe)
dark hue, purple core, slight orange rim, beery jam, somewhat dusty, very fruitforward on the palate, ethereal .. high alc., good tannin structure.

7. Tempranillo Cepas Viejas 2007 vino de la tierra from Finca Munoz - very good - €13,99 (Rewe)
dark brick red, fruity-dusty, cherries, bit acetone, prominent tannin structure, bit alcoholic, very good length.

Montag, 5. Oktober 2009

Sulphur to blame ..

I found this interesting article in the South African Wine Mag.

A look at sulphur in wine

Published: 02 Sep 09

Mixed blessings

Sulphites in wine are an essential part of the winemaking process. Increasingly, however, they are being blamed for causing adverse reactions in wine drinkers. Jeanri-Tine van Zyl investigates.

Using sulphur to preserve and prevent spoilage is not a modern trend. The Oxford Companion to Wine (OUP, 2006) notes that the mention of sulphur (referred to as brimstone) dates back to Biblical times - in the first book, Genesis, it is used in an act of doom on Sodom and Gomorrah. But the ancient peoples quickly realised that God's weapon could also be put to beneficial use - of which the preservation of perishables, such as wine, emerged as a most important discovery: "The operation of fumigating wine with sulphur is performed by kindling rags of linen dipped in melted brimstone, and suffering the steam to enter a cask filled... with that liquor," notes Beckmann and Johnston et al. in A History of Inventions and Discoveries (1846) on the use of sulphur dating back to Roman times.

In fact, the addition of sulphites in the preservation of solids and fluids has been so effective that their use is yet to be bettered in the modern wine trade. However, this longstanding method of preservation is now being challenged by the increasingly health conscious consumer, a new generation who are taking note of the additives in products and their effects. Points of concern are the impact of sulphites on those suffering from allergies, or sulphite intolerance, on the one hand, and the effect of sulphites on your state of being the morning after, with many tipplers questioning the role this additive plays in their hangovers.

A contentious issue

Delving into the subject proves to be contentious - a winemaker, who wishes to remain anonymous, admitted to it "not being good for you" but then quickly noting that sulphite levels in dried fruit, amongst other consumables, are much higher than those found in most wines. Sulphites do present a level of toxicity - but most of us are not particularly sensitive to its use in small concentrations and the adverse effects associated with such compounds can primarily be linked to those suffering from allergies, or asthma.

In contemplating the issue, it's important to be clear that there is no such thing as a sulphur-free wine as sulphur naturally forms during fermentation. Used as an anti-oxidant and anti-septic, extra sulphur can be added to freshly picked grapes in the form of metabisulphite (which is also found in other consumables such as fruit juices and dried fruit) at the beginning of the production cycle, but sulphur levels are also adjusted during production. The reason for this is twofold. Free sulphur reacts with oxygen to prevent the oxidation of wine, keeping it fresh and preventing browning, while bound sulphur in wine inhibits the growth of unwanted microorganisms, acting as a disinfectant.

Gains and losses

But how to address the consumer anxieties without it having a negative impact on wine? Neil Patterson, cellarmaster at Franschhoek wine farm L'Omarins is keen to explore alternatives. Though he admits he's on unchartered territory scientifically, he questions sulphur as the sole protector of wine, and is a proponent for no-addedsulphur wines. A sufferer of sulphite intolerance himself, Patterson relates how the area around his eyes turns into a red rash when he drinks a wine high in sulphur content. "I'll look like a panda," he says in explaining why he stands personally to benefit from producing wines that are generally lower in sulphur content. Last year, Patterson experimented with making a no-added-sulphur Chardonnay, aided by new purification technology Surepure.

This invention, in lay terms, makes use of UV radiation to inactivate microbes that can lead to wine spoilage. But although this can reduce the bound sulphur component, enough free sulphur would still be needed to prevent oxidation. "Oxidation remains a problem," notes John Loubser from top Constantia winery Steenberg, where the Surepure technology has also been tested.

This is reiterated by Jeff Grier from Villiera in Stellenbosch, where a no-sulphur added Cap Classique, Brut Natural, is produced. "The main problem happens at bottling, when wine is exposed to oxygen - Surepure doesn't really help with that." In the end you can produce a wine with no added sulphites, but the maturation period will be shortened, says Grier.

But given that the vast majority of wine is consumed within days, if not hours, of purchase is that really a problem? Producing wine without added sulphur is a fraught exercise, as no-added sulphur wines can be highly volatile. "We did research on producing a no-added sulphur Chenin Blanc, it tasted great in the tank and the day of bottling, but two weeks after bottling the wine goes darker and looses fruit," says Grier. Also, wines which haven't been subjected to added sulphur will react to oxygen quicker once opened and should therefore not be subjected to "airing practices" such as decanting, for example.

On the point of maturation, Patterson admits to playing it "safe" with L'Omarins' first no-added- sulphur wine to be released being a Rosé in the farm's new Protea range - as no-one buys a Rosé to cellar. While Grier is not convinced that there is a sure-fire way to cut out the use of sulphur without hampering aging, he thinks that the pressure coming from consumers for lower-sulphur wines has some benefits. When a winemaker produces a lowersulphur wine, he needs to be more aware of practices that might introduce harmful components to the wine. As Grier says, "if you know you can't just fix any problem by adding sulphur, then you become more mindful of your winemaking techniques." Clean cellars, healthy fruit and hands-on production are key.

"Good housekeeping becomes of utmost importance," echoes Patterson. And without revealing names, he alludes to this being difficult to achieve at certain mass-production plants where large volumes make it difficult to keep an eye on "triggers" that might cause need for added sulphur - such as ullage in tanks that can cause oxidation if not treated with additives.

But apart from putting emphasis on more diligent winemaking practices, Grier adds that more naturally produced wines retain more original flavour, and as grapes for lower-sulphur wines are often picked at lower pH levels, chances are that these wines will also be lower in alcohol - which is advantageous given the backlash that high alcohol wines are increasingly attracting. The bottom line, however, is that lowersulphur wines are going to be shorter lived.

Does this introduce a conflict between the average consumer who wants a wine to go with his TV dinner tonight and the serious collector? No, says Grier. Château Petrus is not going to change its recipe to suit the market whims for example, but lower sulphur wines are going to become a big issue. Says Patterson: "Some might say lowsulphur wines are a trend or a fad, but I believe it is the start of the future".

What to drink?

There is no clear recipe to follow. White wines usually have higher doses of sulphur dioxide, with Sauvignon Blanc, especially those with green pepper nuances, being notorious for this additive.

Red wines and bubbly are known to have lower amounts whilst Noble Late Harvest contain very high doses of sulphur dioxide. It has become compulsory in both South Africa and the European Union for wine labels to contain the wording "contains sulphites" or "contains sulphur dioxide" for wines that contain more than 10 milligrams per litre of SO..

The maximum amount of added sulphur is 160 mg/. in normal wines and up to 300 mg/. in NLH wines. Unfortunately law does not dictate exact amounts be printed on labels.

Are you allergic to sulphites?

Consumers should make a clear distinction between headaches and hangovers. If you are sensitive to sulphur, a headache is most likely to be triggered within hours of consumption, whilst a hangover is only felt the following day. Alcohol, causing dehydration, rather than sulphites, are the cause of hangovers. According to Dr Harris Steinman from the Allergy Society of South Africa, most common indications that you might be suffering from sulphur allergies include coughing, followed by shortness of breath, wheezing and a tight chest. Some consumers may experience a runny nose and, uncommonly, a rash. Dr Steinman also notes that asthma sufferers are particularly sensitive to added sulphites and should therefore be aware of consumables that contain sulphur dioxide such as wine, dried fruit, fruit juices and so forth.

A sulphur trigger should also not be confused with allergies to other compounds found in wine. Many individuals are also affected by histamine in wines. "Some individuals, and up to 45% of Asian individuals, cannot metabolise the alcohol and therefore will become sick on drinking wine, which is an enzymatic problem," says Dr Steinman, adding that few individuals may actually be allergic to alcohol. The degree of reactions may also vary as those caused by an enzyme problem can be dose-related: "It is possible that an individual's reaction will vary, for example, if he or she ate something containing sulphites that used up some of the enzyme, then drinks wine before the enzyme is replenished, then he or she could have a reaction at a lower dose than usual."

Resource: winemag.co.za

Dienstag, 1. September 2009

stress ...

Due to our harvest preparations I was not able to write another post. But tomorrow is our harvest start 2009 with beautiful ripe (and most important healthy) St. Laurent grapes. I will keep you up to date with the harvest in Burgenland and will take some nice pics too.
In the mean time I have tasted some interesting wines.

1. Grüner Sylvaner "Ried Kögl" 2008 from winery Hofbauer-Schmidt - good/very good
bright yellow hue, fresh and fruitforward, bit spicy, lemon, lime flavors, hints of grapefruit and stone fruits, good acid structure, but rather short palate, flinty texture, good balanced.

2. Riesling Smaragd "Terrassen" 2008 from winery Domäne Wachau - very good
yellow hue with green reflections, pure stonefruit, peaches and apriocots on the nose, bit loessig with good acid structure, exotic fruit bunch on the palate, sugar melon and again apricots.

3. Grüner Veltliner "Grub" 2007 from winery Schloss Gobelsburg - delicious
golden yellow hue with green reflections, tobacco, bit smokey, melon and some more exotic fruits on the nose, caramel and butterscotch, bit spicy, oak perfectly integrated (maybe big barrels), quinces, good mouthfeeling, lingering.

Freitag, 14. August 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon Österreich

To stick with the tasted wines from our holiday, here some tasting notes from Austrian Cab´s.

1. CS 2006 from winery Bauer-Pöltl - good/very good
fruity with hints of cassis, still purple, soft tannin structure, but a bit high in alcohol, lingering.

2. CS 2003 from winery Kollwentz - very good
matured hue with orange rim, still fruity, red berries, soft tannin (due to hot year), but very good balanced.

3. CS 2006 from winery Netzl - very good/delicious
at the beginning bit restrained on the nose but opens up beautifully with more O2, nearly opaque core, very typical, cassis falvors, bit minty, eucalyptus, very good tannin stucture, lingering.

4. CS 2005 from winery Prieler - good
like dusty, red berries, some harsh green tannins due to bad year 05, slightly bitter on the finish, lingering.

5. CS 2000 from winery Kollwentz - good
meaty and very ripe, slight acetone flavors, bit turbid, good extract, lingering but on the edge of oxidation, becomes more aldehydic with O2.

6. CS 2006 from winery Sorger/Trausdorf - very good
quite fruit forward style, bit smokey, good acid and tannin structure, lingering.

Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2009

The tasting notes from Bordeaux

The two days we have visited four Chateaux and tasted some of the best wines in Bordeaux.
Find in this post my tasting notes.

Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron
1. Les Tourelles de Longueville 2008 - good/very good
still purple colored, distinctive, structured, nice berry fruit, typical CS character.
(65% ME, 25% CS, 15% CF, pH 3.7, acid 3.44, 13,36 alc.)

2. Pichon 2008 - delicious
still purple, oak, very structured, very ripe smooth tannin, velvety, lingering, covers the palate.
(71% CS, 29% ME)

3. Pichon 2007 - very good/delicious
minty, eucalyptus with underlying meat flavors, very stuctured,, complex and lingering.
(74% CS, 26% ME, pH 3.84, acid 3.44, 13.12 alc.)

4. Pichon 2004 - delicious
sediment visible (but wine is filtered before bottling), orange rim, soft ripe tannin structure, dark berry mix on the nose with hint of cool flavors, lingering.
(65% CS, 30% ME, 5% CF, pH 3.7, acid 3.8, 13.3 alc.)

Cos d´Estournel
5. Pagodes de Cos 2008 - good/very good
eucalypt and hints of mint, still purple, structured with some green hints, bit abrupt finish.

6. Cos 2008 - extraordinary
purple hue, fruity berry nose, still very young, very structured but elegant, nice ripe tannins, extremely lingering, will improve with age.

7. Cos 2004 - delicious
ruby red color, very structured with ripe tannins, perfectly matured, very lingering.

8. Cos 2005 - extraordinary
fruity, Cassis, berries, super soft velvety tannins, very elegant, complex, multilayered, mouth filling and lingering. Just stunning!!

Chateau Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac
9. Dourthe No.1 Sauvignon Blanc 2008 - good/very good
very reductive, some green hints, bell pepper and exotic fruits, good balance.

10. Grand Barrail 2005 - good
meaty, signs of overripeness, soft tannin structure, good length but a bit alcoholic on the finish.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild
11. Chateau d´Armailhac 2008 - very good
purple hue, CS typical fruit, some green hints, spicy, mocha, very structured, very young.
(54% CS, 29% ME, 15% CF, 2% PV, 25% new oak)

12. Chateau Clerc Milon 2008 - very good/delicious
color dense, purple hue, Cassis, berry fruit, spicy, very structured but soft tannins, lingering.
(42% CS, 40% ME, 16% CF, 2% PV)

13. Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2008 - extraordinary
extremely color dense, purple hue, oak prominent, vanilla, mocha, coffee, very structured but soft ripe tannin, very young, extremely lingering. Blockbuster wine!
(83% CS, 17% ME, pH 3,7 - 3,8, 13.2 alc. 100% new oak, 140€ en primeur for 2008)

As we spent nearly all our money to taste and buy wine, we had to cut our expenses on food. With our room picnics we had ...

14. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte - delicious
very color dense, mocha and chocolate on the nose, oak still prominent, very structured, complex and lingering.

Mittwoch, 29. Juli 2009

Just some pics ...

Just some pics from today. Tasting notes will be published tomorrow.

In the vineyards of Pichon Baron:

Tasting some Cru Classe wines:

A perfect lunch:

Cos d´Estournel:

the new cellar at Cos:

Dienstag, 28. Juli 2009

Wine Bars in Paris and Arcachon!

We´ve spent our last day in Paris, beside buying kitchen stuff in the extraordinary Chef shop "Dehillerin", in the Marais quarter. This old Jewish quarter is full with life and loads of small shops selling all different kind of things.
Lunch at Le Rubis: this is maybe the oldest wine bar in Paris ... at least it seems so. It looks like the time has come to a halt some 50 years ago. The plat du jour was warm sausage with lentils ... the wright food for men! The wine (Sancerre and Cotes du Rhone) was simple but a good choice for this kind of meal.
The other wine bar of this day was Willi´s. Ways different to Rubis but also nice. Good stemware, friendly and knowledgeable waiters and some glasses of Riesling, Bandon and Rhone wine closed a nearly perfect day (it was raining for some 30 minutes).
The TGV brought us in about 3 hours to Bordeaux and we spent the afternoon at the Dune du Pyla. Nothing has changed since my last visit ... still incredible and to celebrate the day we had "Glüh-" Champagne.
Enjoy the pics!

Le Rubis:


Franz at Willi´s:


Dune du Pyla at the Bassin d´Arcachon:

Sonntag, 26. Juli 2009

Eiffel tower and Montmartre

Today we spent most of our time with sightseeing. The Eiffel tower is maybe the most fascinating building in Paris ... at least the queues are by far the longest!! We took the challenge with the stairs because we didn´t want to wait 45 min.
Afterwards a quick lunch at a nice Cafe in Montmartre with Crepe Provencal and a nice white wine from the Loire.
The afternoon was filled with the Tour de France ... I saw Alberto winning!

Eiffel tower 1:

Eiffel tower 2:

Sacré Coeur:

Notre Dame

Merde ... Pappiles fully booked and to my greatest astonishment ... it was not possible to get a glass of wine. Wine is just served with food ... and food of course is just served if one has a table. Strange!!
We decided to try our luck with another wine bar "Le Coude Fou" and we were lucky! On our way to this next bar we visited the "Jardin du Luxembourg" and the "Notre Dame". Both are quite impressive.
For dinner we had some nice wines (Corsica and Alsace) and the food in the wine bar was excellent too!

Notre Dame:

Jardin du Luxembourg:

Monkfish and chicken:

Samstag, 25. Juli 2009


Today is our first day in Paris. After a rather short and unspectacular flight with Air France we had a quick lunch at Chez Prosper ... just around the corner of our hotel.
Now we are heading to downtown ... sightseeing .. what else!

salad "Provence" of course with a glass of Rosé:

dessert "Tiramisu":

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2009

Pannobile 2009

As I was rather busy with my last exams at University I was quite lazy with my posts. Anyway, please find here my tasting notes from the annual Pannobile presentation in Vienna. Unfortunately I reveived the invitation about 2 hours before the tasting started and therefore I don´t had the chance to taste all wines.

Winery Judith Beck
1. Zweigelt 2008 - ok/good
young, bit MLF flavors, soft tannin structure, rather simple.

2. St. Laurent Schafleiten 2007 - very good
fruity and spicy, still young, straightforward wine maybe a bit rustic, soft tannin structure, nice oak used.

3. Pannobile Rot 2007 - good
red berries, maybe a touch of Brett (future will show!)

4. Judith 2007 - very good
Anisseed, cool aromatics, bit mushroom and underwood, good tannin structure, balanced and polished.

Winery Gernot Heinrich
5. St. Laurent 2007 - very good
sour cherry, underwood, pleasantly bitter, soft tannin structure, lingering.

6. Pinot Noir 2007 - very good
color and fruit very typical, soft tannin structure, balanced, lingering.

7. Pannobile Rot 2007 - very good/delicious
still young, purple hue, spicy, very good acid and tannin structure, lingering.

8. Blaufränkisch Alter Berg 2007 - very good
cherries and sour cherries, very spicy, still youthful, prominent acid structure, good varietal typicity.

Winery Hans Nittnaus
9. Blaufränkisch Kalk & Schiefer 2007 - good
peat bog, underwood, good acid and tannin structure, distinctive.

10. Heideboden Rot 2007 - good
cherries, soft tannin but alc on the midpalate.

11. Pannobile Rot 2007 - very good
Anissseed, very well integrated oak, good acid and tannin structure.

12. Leithaberg Rot 2007 - very good/delicious
spicy and minerally, very good tannin structure, lingering.

13. Comondor 2006 - good/very good
meaty, spicy and underwood, peat bog, good tannin structure.

 Winery Claus Preisinger
14. Pinot Noir 2007 - good
typical Pinot fruit, very soft tannin, alc on the finish.

15. Pannobile Rot 2007 - very good
fruity, still young, very soft tannin but well structured, lingering.

16. Paradigma - very good
very spicy, distinctive and idiosyncratic, cool aroma profile, very stuctured, lingering.

Winery Helmut Renner
17. St. Laurent Alter Weingarten 2007 - good
fruity, sour cherries, soft tanin structure, bit alcoholic finish.

18. Pannobile Rot 2007 - very good
still young, purple color, spicy, very soft tannin, balanced, lingering.

Donnerstag, 2. Juli 2009

The hot "SALON 2009"

Yesterday I attended the annual presentation of the "SALON Österreich Wein" wines hosted by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board in the Grand Casino Baden.

It was hot !!! and that means really hot ... lots of interested people, no AC and about 30 degrees outside temp are definitely not the best conditions for a wine tasting.
A proper judgement of a wine was not possible as one was pushed around by thirsty crowds ... little girlies (I suppose young sommeliers from a school) were totally stressed and overstrained with pouring wines to some 400 people and to make it worse ... just every third of them was in possession of a corksrew ... people were really angry and so was I. I left just after 1 hour!!

resume: more corkscrews to the world ;-) ... and ways more effort with the organisation, because the 260 best wines of Austria and their makers really deserve a better presentation!!

Mittwoch, 24. Juni 2009

Boku Heim midweek tasting

This weeks tasting included 2 wines with awards ... 

1. Urgesteinsriesling "Reipersberg" 2008 from Weingut Gschweicher - very good/delicious - €9,50
pale yellow hue, fruit forward style, peaches and apricot, shows very good underlying minerality on the nose, racy acid structure, lingering, very typical. (SALON 2009)

2. Wiener Gemischter Satz "Nussberg" 2008 from Weingut Zahel - very good/delicious - €11,50 (CH,PB,PG)
bright golden hue, exotic fruit basket, bourbon vanilla, hints of lychée, oak?? (maybe big barrels) but perfectly integrated, mellow style with good acid backbone, very balanced, lingering. (Wiener Landessieger 2009)
-- I actually guessed Pinot Gris ... not to bad ;-)

Freitag, 19. Juni 2009

as exams award ..

Exams weeks at Boku ... we just rewarded us with ...

1. Gelber Muskateller "Kroissberg" 2008 from Weingut Zahel - very good
fresh, very fruitforward, musky, lemon, lime flavors, green apples, very good acid structure, nice fruit on the palate, quite lean, lingering, refreshing summer wine, nice low in alcohol (11.5 %abv), opens up with more O2.

Dienstag, 16. Juni 2009

Boku Heim midweek tasting

Another week done at University and again we´ve tasted some interesting wines. 

1. Grüner Veltliner 2006 from Weingut Loimer - very good
minerally, ripe peach aromas on the nose, good acid structure, nicely matured.

2. Merlot "Galilée" 2000 from winery Yarden - good/very good (Israel)
very ripe, plums, bit hot, velvety texture, soft ripe tannins, good length, alc detectable on midpalate.

3. Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from Weingut Gschweicher - very good/delicious
still CO2 visible, pale yellow, pure gooseberry and lychée flavors, very good acid structure and perfectly balanced, multilayered, tobacco.

4. Gewürztraminer 2008 from Weingut Lentsch - very good/delicous
pure rose petals and lychée flavors, good acid structure, lingering, improves vastly with more O2, distinctive and typical.

5. Grüner Veltliner "Urkristall" 2008 from Weingut Gschweicher - good
very upfront fruit, ice bon bon, very fruitforward, lean style on style on palate, very good acid structure, easy drinking style, perfect terrace wine.

Dienstag, 2. Juni 2009

New virtual tours at KC

Just found out some new exciting things going on at Klein Constantia / Cape Town.
KC installed 2 brand new virtual tours. First one covering the vineyards, the second the main cellar activities.

If you would like to get an insiders view of the Klein Constantia winery, producer of the famous Vin de Constance, check out following link and enjoy the beauty of the South African wine lands.

By the way ... if you meet a bottle looking like this, do not hesitate to taste a sip ... Jane Austen said about this special wine: "just a sip is enough to cure the broken heart of a lady"

Freitag, 29. Mai 2009

Hans Reinisch dies in tractor accident

©www.falstaff.at (29.5.2009)

Hans Reinisch (Johanneshof) tödlich verunglückt

Der bekannte Winzer Hans Reinisch (57) vom Johanneshof in Tattendorf ist gestern, Donnerstag, den 28. Mai 2009, um ca. 15.45 Uhr bei der Traktorarbeit in der Gumpoldskirchner Ried Satzing tödlich verunglückt. Sein Traktor mit Anhänger hat sich im steilen Weingarten zur Seite überschlagen, der Winzer wurde im Führerhaus rettungslos eingeklemmt, die rasch eingetroffenen Einsatzkräfte konnten ihn nicht mehr lebend bergen.

Dienstag, 26. Mai 2009

Champagne ... at Perlage

If you drink bubblies, you need to drink the really good stuff. One of the best sources in Vienna is "Perlage - Champagner & Co."

tasting team: Rüdiger, Ulli, Elmar and I.

Note: All wines tasted blind.

1. Lilbert, Brut - very good
white bread, fruity, brioche, very balanced on the palate, nice small bubbles, good length.

2. Petitjean-Pienne, Coer d. Chardonnay - very good
matured, slightly coarser bubbles, a touch of acetone, rather morbid on the palate, good length, RS detectable in the finish.

3. Petitjean-Pienne, Prestige - good/very good
CO2 prominent on the nose, nearly no bubbles, butter pastry, fresh palate, good acid structure, bit short, rather simple.

4. Lilbert, Perle - good
nearly flat, pear and quinces, restrained, fruity on the palate.

5. Guy Cadel 2002 - very good
classical nose, bread flavors, bold and round on the palate, good acid structure, very good length.

6. Pierre Peters L´Esprit de 2002 - very good
fresh toast, brioche, fruity, fresh palate, classical, very good length.

7. Pierre Paillard Brut - very good
fresh bread, fruity, gooseberry, very good integrated acid structure, very balanced.

8. Fourrier 2003 - ok
golden yellow color, matured, open, good acid structure, rather short, nearly dead!

9. Pierre Paillard 2002 - delicious
fresh white bread, very typical, very good length, stunningly multilayered!

Freitag, 15. Mai 2009

Results of Master thesis "Die burgenländische Weinprämierung"

Dear reader,

please find below the abstract of my Master thesis titled 
"Self Image and Public Image analysis of the annual regional tasting in Burgenland - a survey on the basis of qualitative expert interviews".
If you are interested in the detailed results of the Master thesis, just let me know. 

The annual regional wine tasting in Burgenland is an blind, expert tasting and accessible to all wineries in the Burgenland region. A modern objective annual tasting in the region of Burgenland according to the needs and requirements of all stakeholders enables the chamber of agriculture in Burgenland to work with focused Public Relations in a more and more competitive national and international wine market. The aim of this Master thesis is to compare the self-image of the annual wine tasting with the various public images. 

The focus of the qualitative research is to answer the question, in what way the self- image by the employees of the chamber of agriculture and the public images by experts in the fields of Gastronomy, Media, Viticulture and Wine Marketing show differences. 

As the results show, there are some severe differences in the self-image and the public image of the annual wine tasting in Burgenland. Especially in the configuration of the tasting procedure, the execution of Public Relations, the image perception and the significance of this wine tasting. This analysis could be the base for adaptions in the Marketing strategy and Public Relations concept by the chamber of agriculture in Burgenland.

Boku Heim midweek tasting

This weeks midweek tasting showed a pretty nice line up of different wines and regions. From Pfalz in Germany, to Austria´s Kremstal, Kamptal, Weinviertel, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Neusiedlersee and last but not least Mittelburgenland. The styles of the wines varied accordingly and overall the quality was quite impressive.

The usual tasting team suspects were joined by our class mate, friend and proficient taster Rüdiger.

Note: All wines were tasted open.

1. Grauburgunder 2008 from Weingut Müller-Kern - Pfalz - good - €6,20

rather neutral on the nose, but typical on the palate, refreshing, easy drinking stuff.

2. Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from Weingut Müller-Kern - ok 

green elder leafs, quite high in SO2, bit RS, unripe green flavors, gets more unpleasant with air.

3. Sauvignon Blanc 08 from Weingut Bärenhof - Pfalz - good

ripe falvors, greengage plum and elder, bit botrytis rot, good acid structure, a bit short on the finish.

4. Riesling Spätlese „Dürkheimer Rittergarten“ 2008 from Weingut Bärenhof - ok/good

hints of honey, rather one dimensional nose, acid structure ok, improves with O2, quite easy on midpalate. 

5. Kremstal DAC 2007 from Weingut Stadt Krems - good/very good

honey and very ripe flavors, hints of petrol, minerally, rather evolved, acid structure ok, 

6. Riesling Spätlese „Hammbacher Schlossberg“ 2007 from Weingut Müller-Kern - yech

sulfur reduction pure, good acid structure but sulfur reduction flavors on the palate too.

7. Riesling Auslese 2007 trocken from Weingut Bärenhof - very good

stone fruit, peaches and apricot, very typical, dark berries, underlined with slate flavors, very good acid structure, multilayered, very good length.

8. Riesling 2006 „Die Leidenschaft“ from Weingut Martin Arndorfer - very good/delicious

apricot and peaches, typical Austrian Riesling, tobacco, minerally, multilayered nose, slate, oak perfectly integrated, creamy texture, very lingering.

9. Pinot Blanc „Ungsteiner Osterberg“ Spätlese 2007 from Weingut Bärenhof - yech

sulfur reduction, sauerkraut, same flavors on the palate,

10. Grüner Veltliner „Hundsberg“ 2007 from Weingut Pröll - very good

fruity, hints of honey and butterscotch, pepper, spices, creamy texture, tobacco, balanced acid structure, quite lingering.

11. Weinviertel DAC „Kellerberg“ 2007 from Weingut Gschweicher - very good 

withe pepper, still young, soft texture but spicy, quite lingering.

12. Syrah 2004 from Weingut Kirnbauer - ok/good

spicy, sticht etw in der Nase, quite ripe, broad flavors, oak dominated, rather evolved, bit acetone, 

13. Ursus Magnus 2005 from Weingut Bärenhof - very good

super dark color, light pipe tobacco, peppermint, eucalyptus, dried mushrooms, bell pepper, oak very well integrated, very good tannin and acid structure, lingering.

14. Heulichin 2006 from Weingut Wagentristl - very good

fruity, tobacco, minty, eucalyptus, soft tannin structure, distinctive, good length, oak power, still young, lingering, will massively improve with more time in bottle. 

15. Blaufränkisch Lüss 2007 from Weingut Lentsch - very good

dark color, spicy, ripe cherry, ripe plums, horse radish, good acid and tannin structure, juicy, 

16. Zweigelt „Excellence“  2003 from Weingut Veit - very good/delicious

cassis and cinnamon, black berries, juicy tannin, super lingering, ripe and very balanced, good extract, powered.

17. Vitikult 2006 from Weingut Kirnbauer - corc

extreme corc taint ... for training!!!