Chalices and Wines – a perfect match

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Here we go again harping on about Austria but it is in our opinion one of the most exciting wine-producing countries at the minute. Austria produces less than 1% off of all the worlds wine – roughly 27 million cases a year! All of this comes from the Eastern part of the country where the Alps wind down into hills and almost all of it comes from small family run wineries. As with many things the Austrians themselves are always evolving discovering new areas for vines and better growing conditions for the grapes they have, in essence there is more to Austria than the Wachau. The Wachau is probably the most famous area in Austria for the production of wine. It is in fact a world heritage site (since 2000). It is in the valley cut by the Danube as it winds its way through central Europe, between the towns of Melk and Krems. A cool climate region that has terraced vineyards along the river like in Mosel, Germany and Cote Rotie, France.  Main grape varieties grown are predominately the indigenous Gruner Veltliner and Riesling along with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and even some Traminer and Sauvignon Blanc.

Since the vintage 2009 the Müller family has cultivated 10 ha in the Wachau region. These vineyards are part of the monastery Kremsmünster estate which was founded in 777 AD by Bavarian Duke Tassilo III. The same soil has nurtured vines since 893 AD, thus producing the grapes so unique to the area. The Tassilo Cup, being one of the most valuable pieces of the nearby monastery’s art collection, was chosen as the centre piece on the label for the new wines from this region. From this site, over a thousand years old, come the characteristically fruitful vintages called the Tassilo Wines.

Tassilo Weisser Burgunder ‘Sussenberg’ 2011

Light green yellow in the glass, delicate nut aromas in the nose, elegant and powerful on the palate; an excellent wine with a great balance and length. The perfect companion for spicy and flavour rich dishes as well as elegant fish. Without a food pairing, this wine is well suited for any special occasion. The wine also possesses the ability to improve over the next 5 years.

Tassilo Gruner Veltliner ‘Alte Point’ 2011

Bright green-yellow in colour, on the nose aromatic with delicate flowers on the palate, fine textured, juicy and elegant.  Tender green apple on the finish, a spicy, typical Veltliner. A superbly refreshing wine. Serve chilled as an aperitif! As well the perfect companion for spicy meals or Asian cuisine and salads, but also has the body to stand up to pork dishes.

Greenhough Tasting

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Last Monday evening we were delighted to have Andrew Greenghough from Greenhough Wines in New Zealand in the shop for a private tasting. We had a great turn out with people literally sitting in every corner! Andrew guided us through a selection of his whites and reds and a few treats too.

First up was the Riesling:

2011 Nelson Riesling This was the favourite of the crowd, lovely nose of sweet green apple and mandarin. Rich sweet citrus on the palate with a lingering finish. The nose also had a slight kerosene edge that Andrew mentioned he wasn’t a fan of but which didn’t seem to detract from people’s likes.

2012 Nelson Riesling I Loved this! The 2012 wine hade more crisp acidity on the palate a fresher cleaner citrus lime/mandarin note. From a much cooler vintage than the previous wine. The crisp acidity and minerality give this wine a very fresh clean finish.

Next we hit the New Zealand Classic Sauvignon Blanc:

2011 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc has slightly ‘sweet’  passion fruit and tropical aromas, leading into a classy wine. Very mouthfilling, it is fruity, with ripe tropical-fruit flavours, showing lovely delicacy and richness, finely balanced acidity, and a long, slightly spicy, dry finish. Again the older more rounded wine was the favourite.

2012 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc punchy with vital  fresh  passion and citrus fruits over a hint of gooseberry and grassy-ness. Zesty and fresh on the palate with crisp tropical and citrus fruits and nice mineral edge. Absolute classic. Beats Sancerre any day!

Then the Pinot Blanc:

2010 ‘Hope Vineyard’ Pinot Blanc Subdued nose with slight hints of pear, apple and oaky spice. It’s very full-bodied, weighty, complex and rich, with deep peach, pear and spice flavours, slightly buttery and savoury. A wine that split the room,  this is certainly a food wine!

Next was the Reds:

2007 Nelson Pinot Noir Ripe dark and medium red cherry aromas, ripe cranberry and floral notes. The palate was juicy with fleshy cherry flavours and notes of strawberry and raspberry,  and light unobtrusive oak spice.

2010 Nelson Pinot Noir Intense red cherry and pomegranate aromas with hints of clove. Very Ripe and young style plenty of fruit flavours and structure from tannin. A wine that will mature nicely.

2003 ‘Hope Vineyard’ Pinot Noir** Very expressive nose despite being 10 years old,  with juniper berry, star anise and thyme. Berries is the theme of the seductive palate with complimentary fruit compot.  A vibrant mineral freshness adds life and elegance to the mouthfeel.  Soft silky tannins on the long lingering  finish  with notes of savoury berries, liquorice, subtle oak spice.

And finally the Desert:

2012 Noble Riesling Typical nose of botrytised Riesling citrus and apricot and peach. Lovely fresh and zesty palate and finish. Delightful desert wine that you could drink a whole bottle of in no time!!! Lovely and luscious!!

**Not Available for sale. This stock is from the shops tasting reserves.