Thursday, June 28, 2007

Heidi Schrock - winery visit

Heidi Schrock produces some of the best Austrian sweet wines, which means she produces world class, excellent sweet wines. In addition she produces very good and interesting dry and sparkling wines. Her winery shop is located in the central square of Rust - a charming city. We were hosted by Lisa - her new assistant which was very knowledgeable and helpful. Lucky Heidi, by the time we got to the winery they were almost out of Ausbruch wines! As we have tasted those wines last year at VieVinum it was actually great to focus in the sparkling, white and Beerenauslese (sweet) wines.

Vogelsang 2006
This is usually a blend of Welschriesling, Pinot Blanc, Muskateller, and Sauvignon Blanc which produces semi-sweet wine. It has lime, grass, honeysuckle and tropical fruit. It feels very refreshing and will be excellent with food in a summer day. Very nice finish. 87

Beerenauslese 2006
Light golden color, very young with honey and apricot accompanied by good acidity. Very balanced and not too sweet. Medium finish. 89

Rosec 2000
This wine is not produced on a regular basis, but is worthwhile to search for. Nice consistent bubbles. Strawberries, nuts and other red berries compose a very lively wine. Long and gratifying finish. It's at the same quality level as a good Champagne but for less then half the price... 90

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dinner at Kutschker 44 - Vienna, Austria

Kutschker 44 is our favorite restaurant in Vienna, Austria. The couple that runs the show is an excellent example of the young Viennese generation. They were raised on Viennese tradition and respect it but use it in a creative way to make something exciting and new. Viennese dishes are the core of some of the dishes in this cool restaurant but they are taken to new directions. One of the best example is the goulash, which is done with the best ingredients and is the best you can get in Vienna - presented with an edible decoration. Other dishes include: marinated raw octopus - an Italian influence, fillet steak with BBQ sauce (yes, in Vienna!) and the slightly spicy corn raised hen. Every dish is presented in very unique way. The service is impeccable and the wine list is very fairly priced.
Overall, this is one of Austria's great chefs in the making. Run and eat there before he becomes a mega star.

Werner Achs, XUR 2004 - Burgenland
Layers of blackberries, cherries, plums along with tobacco and smoky note compose a very complex wine. It's color is medium dark purple. Smooth and harmonious wine with smooth tannins. Still ageable, but drinks very nicely now. Medium finish. 91

Wieninger Beerenauslese Nussdorf 2005 - Vienna

One of the many nice things in Vienna is being able to drink wines produced in the city. This sweet wine is very syrupy with honey, tropical fruit with nice acidity and a long finish. 89

Friday, June 1, 2007

Romano Dal Forno

Romano Dal Forno is a charming person who produces amazing wines. His views of the wine world are conveyed without too much political correctness. A couple of nice ones were:
- Even women in California are made of plastic
- Wine is not a medicine, it should taste good and not be precise like a medicine
The winery is impressive and although it has been there for only 16 years it feels like a very respectable establishment. The winery tour and tasting were done with a lot of patience and dedication. We got to taste unbottled samples from 2004 vintage. For each wine, there are 1-2 barrels for tasting, each of those is filed with nitrogen to preserve the wine. It's a good oportunity to taste a wine in the making process.
The wines were excellent. With their pricing, they better be! 180 Euros for the Amarone and 60 for the Valpolicella...
Dal Forno Amarone 2004
Thick red color, almost non pentratable. Very very concentrated and tannic currently. Although it's in a dumb pahse one still feels the amazing aromas of plum, violets and jam along with some oak. The finish just doesn't fade - and you will not regret it. 96-100
Dal Forno Valpolicella 2004
Less pronounced than his "big Amarone brother" this wine is still a thick big wine. It has plums, jam, cedar and violet. It's nose is sweet and the tannins are pronounced but sweet. Very impressive wine. 92-94