Without of doubt, Austrian wines are some of the most food-friendly wines in the shop. Bright fruit, balanced minerality, fresh, crisp, racy and lean is how I like to describe them.
At last week’s Frank’s Summer Tasting at Caffé Gelato in Newark we offered up 38 selections from various wine regions of the world… of those the wines of Austria ROCKED THE HOUSE! Scott Biggs and Klauss Wittauer of Select Austrian Wines poured their lineup and our 75 guests kept going back for more.
The 2 top selling wines of the night were from the same winery in Austria – Anton Bauer... that type of market research tells me one thing: FranksWine CLUBVino selections for August are set!
Scott Biggs will be in the shop on Saturday from 11am to 3pm pouring this pair of gru-v wines as well as a few others from Austria…
Anton first introduced this single-vineyard Gmörk Gruner to celebrate the latest round of upgrades to the winery. Although Grüner Veltliner has been grown in what is now Austria since Roman times, the grape has only become well-known in the past 25 years. While Grüner can be made in a wide range of styles – from crisp, simple, quaffing wines to creamy, oak-aged, versions that resemble fine white Burgundy – it should always deliver a mouthful of ripe orchard fruits, floral notes, and at least a little touch of spice resembling white pepper.
The 2011 Gmörk succeeds admirably! Delicate aromas of wet limestone, apple skin and white flowers emerge from the glass. In the mouth, the wine bursts with gravelly apple and green peach fruit, loads of citrusy acidity and sweet white flowers. A touch of white pepper emerges on the long, juicy, finish. A great wine to enjoy on its own or with seafood, salads, and lighter fare. Just delicious!
Anton Bauer 2010 Zweigelt
Zweigelt just don’t get no respect. True, this is hardly a grape of ancient heritage – it was “invented” in Austria in 1922 by crossing the not-so-famous Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent varieties. But, on the right sites and in the right hands, Zweigelt produces a tremendously delicious and useful wine. Think slightly more weight than red Burgundy with a flavor profile somewhere between Malbec and Zinfandel. In other words, a wine that’s just perfect for drinking on its own or with a wide range of weeknight meals.
Anton Bauer’s take on Zweigelt is just classic. The wine is bursting with crunchy black cherry fruit complicated by notes of mocha and peppery spice. Local importer Klaus Wittauer always buys Anton’s Spring bottling of this grape to get the maximum amount of juicy fruit in every bottle. This struck me as a cross between a delicious young red Bourgogne and a more robust Rhone red. Pizza, burgers, grilled chicken, salmon – goes with just about anything!