Austro-Ecke

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Ken Oliver, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. I've had it in mind for a while to create a corner (Ecke) of this website for musings, TNs, vintage reports etc on Austrian wine and now seems like a good moment. The Austrian wine mag Falstaff reported on Friday that it's awarded its first ever 100 point score to an Austrian red wine, the Batonnage 2015. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot und Blaufränkisch produced in Burgenland from vineyards around Leithaberg and Andau as a joint venture by a group of self-styled "revolutionaries": Erich Scheiblhofer, Gerhard Kracher, Christian Tschida, Florian Gayer and Markus Altenburger. The wine "triumphed" in a "judgement of Vienna" tasting pitting successive vintages of the wine against a string of first growth clarets. A 23-strong jury from Austria, Germany and Switzerland gave its ten top marks to the Austrian wines, the best scoring Bordeaux coming in in 11th.

    Weighing in at 15%, having been matured in 200% new oak and presented in a specially designed bottle, there is nothing that makes me want to drink this wine. But it can be yours for a mere Euro 130 from Wein & Co.

    For those of you who can manage the German: Historische Verkostung: Burgenland schlägt Bordeaux - Falstaff. Full TNs will be posted in the June issue of the mag.
     
  2. Is this a late April Fool?
     
  3. [​IMG]
    Apparently not Phil! They call themselves 'The Wild Boys of Batonnage' Not sure how you achieve 200% new oak though!
     
    Ken Oliver likes this.
  4. 12 months in new oak. Then change the barrels for another 12 months in new (or even newer...) oak!
     
    Tom Henderson likes this.
  5. It’s a sad state of affairs IMHO when tasters make the same mistakes Parker made in the 1980s. By that I mean that the lovely, elegant, red Bordeaux of pre-1982 became reviled. Oak, alcohol and plush fruit in a combination which ramped up power became the agreed style and taste of the cognoscenti.

    This wine sounds like the same sort of idea. I will not say that I have never drunk balanced table wine at 15%, but it is rare. I won’t dismiss a wine I’ve never tried but do I wish to try it?

    I’m only critical because, as you know, I adore Austrian wines, in particular, wines of elegance and finesse (I AM talking red here).

    I suppose it’s personal taste, but one has to ask why make a wine like this in 2018? Such esteemed names too. The New Douro or Barolo Boy tag is so old hat.

    Tom, 200% new oak means racked from one lot of new barrels (usually 225 litre barrique) into another, so twice the oak to obscure the grapes for 20 years.
     
    Gareth J Welch and Ken Oliver like this.
  6. To reassure myself that there's still good quality to be found amongst Austrian reds, I cracked open a bottle of h.p. göbel Zweigelt Alte Reben 2008 last night (punctuation and lower case as per the label). To my mind, Göbel makes the best reds in Vienna from his base in Stammersdorf (on the left bank of the Danube, across from the city centre). A Göbel Cuvée Berg 2007 was absolutely singing when I opened it last summer. Sadly, last night's bottled was badly corked.

    As a sub, I opened this:

    • 2008 Gesellmann Bela Rex - Austria, Burgenland, Mittelburgenland (16/04/2018)
      Youthful and vigorous. Opens with attractive sour cherry fruit, before showing classic, pure and nicely austere cassis. Round and satisfying on the palate but still fresh. Balanced, with well behaved tannin. Not yet showing much secondary/tertiary development, so I'm guessing there's plenty of mileage left in the tank. CS/ME. (90 pts.)
    Posted from CellarTracker

    So, faith restored!

    I'll also post the note of that 07 Cuvée Berg, plus a few other 2007 reds I opened 10 years after the vintage:

    • 2007 Hans Peter Göbel Cuvée Berg - Austria, Wien (09/06/2017)
      Time to check in on some 2007 Austrian reds; 06/06/2017-31/08/2017
      : Dark, bright, youthful purple-red. Clean, fresh and refreshing nose of cassis, cut blackcurrant bush, and spiced plums and blueberry. Vivid and with real energy. Round but really alive in the mouth. Tastes young - let's say early maturity. Classic and elegant. Long finish.

      A real surprise this. I've found this cuvee too oaky when young, but at 10 years old it's the epitome of elegance. Leads one to the left bank of Bordeaux - a GPL or maybe something from St Julien. I think the best Austrian red I've tasted. A Cab Sauv/Zweigelt blend. (92 pts.)
    Posted from CellarTracker

    • 2007 Hans Igler Ab Ericio - Austria, Burgenland, Mittelburgenland (06/06/2017)
      Time to check in on some 2007 Austrian reds; 06/06/2017-31/08/2017
      : Medium ruby. Immediately appealing, Merlot dominated nose. One thinks first of RB Bordeaux, with decadent layers of blueberry/mulberry yumminess. But there's a glossy sheen that doesn't quite fit, and washed wool, lavender, opal fruits notes that suggest something more exotic. This is intense on the palate, but fresh and with a lot of energy. It still feels young. Long clean finish. Very happy to have allowed to age for a few years!
    Posted from CellarTracker

    • 2007 Franz und Christine Netzl Anna-Christina - Austria, Niederösterreich, Carnuntum (07/06/2017)
      Time to check in on some 2007 Austrian reds; 06/06/2017-31/08/2017
      : ZW/CS/ME. A decent dark colour and a rather funky, animal nose, but with a fair dose of cassis and other dark berries. Quite fumy. Robust and muscular. Reasonable balance in the mouth and quite flavoursome, yet a bit heavy footed. A bit diffuse. Quite a long finish. Pleasant but not one to chase after.
    Posted from CellarTracker

    • 2007 Gager Cablot - Austria, Burgenland, Mittelburgenland (27/06/2017)
      Time to check in on some 2007 Austrian reds; 06/06/2017-31/08/2017
      : Good deep purple red colour. Lots of cassis on the nose, something of a Lifesavers quality, quite fumy at first though that dissipated, a bit fungal. Lacks a bit of grip on the palate, but certainly flavourful. Ripe fruit but not sweet; refreshing acidity, nicely integrated. Still quite a bit of furry tannin. Long but a bit clumsy on the finish. Overall, plenty of life left in this, a nice drop, though just short of the highest class (89 pts.)
    Posted from CellarTracker

     
    David Crossley and Phil David like this.

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