Wednesday of last week was spent at another Austrian wines tasting, this time in Boston for Winebow featuring all of the Austrian wines in their portfolio with special guests, Paul Achs (Gols), Rudi Pichler (Wachau), both of their namesake wineries, and Fritz Miesbauer of the Stadt Krems winery (Kremtal.)
The tasting began with a seminar for interested wine buyers to help explain the indigenous grapes of Austria, Grüner Veltliner & Blaufränkisch and also the stylistic difference of Riesling.
Each producer brought out what they called a "classic" example of the varietals and introduced each respective region by its soil type, climate and wine making style. Pichler and Miesbauer presented the Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grapes while Achs represented the Blaufränkisch.
It was interesting to taste the stylistic differences against one another - usually we only taste one or two bottles, usually from the Wachau, at a time in the office. I have a personal preference toward the Kremstal wines as they were more fruit forward with a heavier aroma and slightly less tart on the palate.
After the seminar, we gathered in the main room where the entire Austrian portfolio was avaliable for tasting. As usual, I like to note the sparkling wines (not pictured) from Szigeti. While I have had the sparkling Gruner several times, I had never had the opportunity to taste the Rose, made from Zwigelt, or the Cuvee Prestige, a blend of other uncommon white grapes which I, regrettably, did not mark down.
I also must note Weingut Heinrich, which focused on red varietals. While I adore white wine, my first, true love is always with the red. St Laurent is my favorite red grape of Austria and it was showing beautifully. Deep fruits, a hint of spice and a good balance of tannin.
Paul Achs Pinot Noir was also a treat and, to be fair, presented some of the first Blaufränkisch grapes I would purchase on my own.
I had the fortunate opportunity to spend time talking with each winemaker which is what really drives the message of a wine home for me. I can not wait to reconnect with each at Vie Vienum in May in Vienna!