Archive for the 'Austrian Wine' Category

2008 Fred Loimer Lenz Riesling

I picked this up the other night when I was in the mood for a crisp Riesling… something that happens fairly often. 🙂

The nose showed a tonne of zesty grapefruit, lime and dusty-flinty stone. I love Riesling. A sip gave a refreshing squirt of fresh grapefruit and lime and finished off with that I-just-licked-a-rock flinty minerality that stays around for a bit. It really hit my taste buds in the right way.

This wine really hit the spot, especially if you’re not in the mood for, say a Spätlese with its hint of sweetness – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Its crisp minerality is just right in that tangy kinda’ way. It’s a perfect aperitif wine (sitting around sipping on its own) and its crisp acidity means it would also pair very well with foods like sushi, squash soup or even a salad.

Tasty stuff… and oh yeah, drink more Riesling!

$22.99 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars

No comments

2005 Erich Salomon/Undhof Grüner Veltliner Reserve, Lindberg

Last Friday afternoon, I visited Clinton Kabler over at D3 Security to talk a little bit about business and a lot about wine for his 10th episode of D3TV. Have a look.

The wine rocked. It was definitely one I’ll pick up again some time in the next little while.

$36.90 at Marquis Wine Cellars here in Vancouver.

4 1/2 stars


2005 Heidler Grüner Veltliner

03052009Now, the terms Grüner and tasty are for some people and oxymoron, but I find myself seeking them out from time to time. Jay McInerney refers to them in his books and when I read them a while back, I began to search them out. (These books, Bacchus & Me and A Hedonist in the Cellar are really enjoyable reads by the way).

This one has got to one of my faves. It has loads of mineral on the nose with some grassy bit and the root-y vegetal aromas that continue with the first couple of sips. On the palate it has really interesting citrus and mineral with almost green leaf into a flinty finish. I paired this with some roasted garlic and goat cheese and the caramelized sweetness of the garlic provided a really nice pairing.

If you’ve never tried a Grüner before, this one is a really good choice if you feel like venturing out and taking a chance. (I guess after the last couple – I’m on the unusual grape hunt right now).

$19.99 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars


Farmstead Wines – Martin Arndorfer Riesling, Azienda Agricola San Biagio Verduno Pelaverga & Domaine Gauby Rivesaltes Caricia

A few weeks ago, I was driving and checking my Twitter account on my iPhone, when I noticed that Anthony Nicalo of Farmstead Wines (if you do the Twitter, you can follow him @farmstead) had posted a tweet about tasting some Farmstead Wines that were left-over from a Sommelier tasting.

As a side note: if you’re a Twitter geek and haven’t noticed the Twitter widget over in my right-hand sidebar, you can follow me at @scaldron.

I was at a light, so I promptly replied… and ended up talking with Anthony who had the bottles delivered to me downtown by one of his reps.

I was pleased to see it was an eclectic mix – an Austrian Riesling from Martin Arndorfer, a Verduno Pelaverga from Italy’s Azienda Agricola San Biagio and a sultry Rivesaltes Caricia from France’s Domain Gauby. I was impressed with each wine and loved the fact that they all came from small producers that fit Farmstead Wines’ hand-made philosophy.

So on to the wines:

  • 2006 Martin Arndorfer Riesling, Strasser Weinberge – We had this with some spicy food and it was excellent. The nose was a beautiful mix of light citrus and mineral. The flavours were a very balanced mix of light citrus zest and a long mineral and lime finish. Gorgeous stuff and a great food wine.4 1/2 stars
  • 2006 Azienda Agricola San Biagio Verduno Pelaverga – This was one of my favourite towns (Verduno) during my recent visit to Italy’s Piedmont region… It was gorgeous and surrounded by hills of vines. This wine took me back to that region. It has a beautiful nose that yells, “Langhe”… beautiful rose petal, cherry, along with a bit of tar and leather lead to a bit of a thin mouth-feel though… the finish made up for that with all that the nose hinted at. It’s a tasty bottle of wine.4 stars
  • 2006 Domaine Gauby Rivesaltes Caricia – Here we have a wine that is like a spicy and balanced young port… fresh dark berries and black cherry along with some cracked pepper on the finish. A beautiful finish that features the sweet berry fruit and firm tannins that lasts minutes. This is, plainly put, a SEXY wine. Yum.4 1/2 stars

It’s great to see someone making the effort to bring in small-production, farm-produced wines. These are folks who really care about what they do and it shows. This is the liquid equivalent of the Slow Food movement. Keep up the good work here in Vancouver, Anthony.

No comments

2005 Leth Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Donauland Steinagrund Lagenreserve

Wow. Look at that name up in the title. Say that 10 times fast for me and I’ll buy you a bottle of it. You have to hand it to the Germans and the Austrians. They make things as simple as a grape sound so difficult that people tend to be bullied into avoiding them. It’s a shame though. The wines kinda’ rock.

You know how I would describe this wine? I would use a fashion or design-like term – clean. It’s crisp, balanced and very European. It’s actually a style of white I really enjoy. The nose lets on a sly bit of honeyed lemon and stone. A sip opens up a citrus-y bit of grapefruit in a tux draped on a rock along with a dribble of honey. If you let it warm up a bit, it takes on a sexy peach and apricot edge. The finish is crisp and clean with no caffeine – sorry, that was an 80’s flashback to a 7-Up commercial. Remember that one? The guy with the Jamaican accent?..

OK, back to the wine. It’s a warm weather wine or a wine for some food. I really like it. If you like a crisp Riesling, you’ll like this and it pairs with so many foods (goat cheese, spicy food, a summer salad, etc.) that you almost can’t miss.

Dive into Grüner folks.

$28 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

4 stars

No comments

2006 Laurenz V. Friendly Grüner Veltliner

01142008.jpgI had had this on my “I should try it” list for while and finally made it part of our lineup on New Year’s Eve. It turned out to be a fantastic surprise. I made a Thai feast – green papaya salad and a green curry with chicken. My usual match for Thai is either a Riesling or a juicy Gewürztraminer. After trying it, this may be my new go-to Thai food wine… and the way it pairs with food, it may just be my new go-to white wine period.

This and 2 other Grüners (the “Charming” and the “Singing”) come from the good folks at Laurenz V. As they say on their site, “Laurenz V focuses solely on the Austrian hallmark variety Grüner Veltliner.”… and they do it in a really approachable style.

I’ve had other Grüners that were tasty, but non-descript. This one leaps out of the glass with dry, yet juicy fruit. The nose is all citrus, honey and mineral-laced – like licking a stone that’s been dipped in honey and drenched with lemonade. A big sip gives up gorgeous honey, citrus, green apple and pineapple with a long, food-friendly and pleasantly tart finish.

This is a wine that makes a great sipper on its own or will be bloody tasty with any number of dishes you may whip up.

Give Grüner a go. You’ll be glad you did.

~$22 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars here in Vancouver.

4 stars

No comments