For those who are not so much into wine, Wachau is a wine growing region in Austria and is like what Chablis is for France. The main production is dry white wine however a small amount of dry red and rose is produced. The main grape varieties are Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Frühroter, Muskateller and many more. As one can see the Austrians believe in their own grapes, which is good for the marketing because the Grüner Celtliner is the most fashionable and thought after grape variety since a couple of years on the global market. Only the name is fun for me, when I listen to the international Sommeliers speaking out the name loud (sorry guys but its just lovely). But I think in a curious way, that is what it makes it so interesting, and of course the aromas and the low production which makes it rare, made this juice to a high demand on the market.
One has to imagine that Wachau has only about 1350 ha of growing area, compared to Chablis where about 4820 ha are grown with vine plants. This area under wine is divided up for Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and other typical grapes which I do not want to overload you with.
So got my self dressed with my new Certified Pin and drove to the beautiful (and I mean really beautiful, which you can see to the right) Castle “Schloss Fuschl” in Austria to meet my study buddy and Raphael Buttinger which is the Consultant and Sales for the Vineyard. A very friendly and competent young man but simple, exactly how I like it.
Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus
This is a union for the guarantee of origin and quality. The categories on which the wines are classified are alcohol, must weight and origin. Every Winery within the region can be a member of it(http://www.vinea-wachau.at).
- Steinfeder: the lightest one of these and has a maximum of 11,5 ABV. Lowest production of the region
- Federspiel: is the medium heavy wine, like a standart wine between 11,5 to 12,5 % ABV. Biggest production of the region
- Smaragd: (Named after a Lizard which exists in the Vineyards) the king class for the wines compared to the Grand Cru in other countries from 12,5 % ABV upwards. Medium production of the region depending on the vintage
- No use of small barrels, otherwise you need to label it reserve and non of the stated above
- The vineyards and grapes has to be from the Wachau
- Typical grape varieties from the region
- No additives like chaptalisation or grape must
- No aromatisation
- Nature and nothing else!
Wachau Vintages: 2008 difficult year
2009 great vintage good aging potential, low yield
2010 classic vintage, low yields
2011 good vintage with better yields then in 2010 and 2009
2012 good vintage but late frost reduced yield
2013 Very good year
2014 not good, autumn to cold and wet
2015 good year but a bit to warm
Between the typical tasting discussions, like Bio and biodynamic productions which is not a big thing in the Wachau and screw cap vs cork, which Raphael Buttinger mentioned that they went back to cork with the Smaragd wines, we tasted wines.
List we tasted with short notes
(1 bad wine/10 fun wine/20 excellent wine and is always compared within the same category)
Rivaner/ Frühroter/ Grüner Veltliner blend. In the nose very aromatic, light bodied with lots of fruit like star fruit, leeches and sour dough as non fruit aroma. Stone minerals, no oak. Very nice early drinking wine for summer with a lot of fun. 11% ABV (10 points)
2014 Grüner Veltliner Kaiserberg Federspiel
Medium aromatic, white peaches, white pepper. Medium plus acidity, flinty minerals
Classic GV, medium bodied with a long finish. Good value and well done for a bad Vintage
2014 Riesling Bruck Federspiel
Medium minus aromatic, in the nose glycerin, apples. Acidity high, dry taste of wet stone rusty and cooper. Slightly off balanced, medium bodied, it was better in the nose, not a wine I would recommend this wine, signs of bad vintage, sorry guys! (5 points)
2014 Grüner Veltliner Kellerberg Smaragd
Classic Smaragd, intensity in the nose was a bit closed medium minus, with white pepper, white peaches and flowers. Full bodied, medium acidity, dry, complex with wet stone minerals and a long finish. Good wine (14 points)
2013 Grüner Veltliner Achleiten Smaragd
Boom, Medium aromatic, ripe pineapples/apricots, white pepper. Smokey (but no oak) wet earth minerals with medium acid and a very long finish. Very complex in the nose and on the palate. Great wine with a long aging potential. (18 points)
The next two wines was a blind tasted:
2008 Grüner Veltliner Kellerberg Smaragd
2000 Riesling Achleiten Smaragd
Did not make so much notes of it, but the Riesling was great complex, ripe yellow fruits long finish definitely 19 points. Both were outstanding and remember one thing the Wachau wines taste always younger as they are!
Very interesting, in the nose was a lot of glow, nail polish and oxidation. A lot of taste, quite surprising after a weak fruit nose. Medium plus bodied, silky acidity, dry, complex and a long finish. Fun to drink since it is something different (11 points)
2014 Rosé Terassen Reserve (to the left)
The nose reminds you of a Province Rose, pomegranate, spices. The taste is medium minus acidity. It says reserve but no evidence of oak, dry, fruity but no so Tutti Fruity, like in most Roses, elegant and a medium finish. Grapes used Pinot Noir and Zweigelt. Good and elegant Rose from Wachau. 15 points compared to other Rosé
2014 Grüner Veltliner VDN (yes you read correctly Vin Doux Naturel, in the middle)
That was an experience and a big surprise, Güner Veltliner Port. The wine is fortified with Grüner Veltliner Trester (spirit) to about 15 ABV as much as I remember. The nose was difficult to describe, heat, ripe stone fruit, herbal, oak and spices. The flavour: off dry, apple muse, Mango Chili chutney, spices, oak and herbs. Perfectly balance between acid, alcohol and sugars (70g/L). Rarely had such a good fortified wine with balance where nothing is dominating. 19 points compared to other fortified wines
(But do not search for it my partner in crime Eugen bought everything!)
2014 Beerenauslese Terrassen
Very nice to see a sweet wine from this region. Grapes are 60% Riesling and the rest Weißburgunder, Muskateller and Chardonnay. Classic ripe fruits peaches pineapples and honey. Acidity is medium plus, which makes it not a thick, sweet syrup, fresh long finish. Very nice indeed. (16 points.)
Special Thanks to:
- Eugen Lamprecht, Chef Sommelier Hotel Schloss Fuschl (Have fun with the VDN, to the right)
- Raphael Buttinger,(to the left)
from the Domäne Wachau
- Domäne Wachau
Schloss Hotel Fuschl
Some extra Pictures from the tasting, enjoy: