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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Austrian Dessert Wines at the Annual Austrian Tasting, London

Last month's Annual Tasting of Austrian Wines in London included a separate section specifically on dessert wines.

As these are some of my favourites, I spent quite a while there after doing the rounds of the main room. Below are my notes by region.

In general, stickies from Burgenland on the Pannonian plain, warmed by southerly air currents, tend to be fuller and riper.

By contrast, Lower Austria's dessert wines, especially those from the Wachau, tend to have more freshness due to the effect of cooler air either from the north or rolling off the hills at the top of the valley. As a result, dessert wines are not made in all years here.

I did not even know that Styria produces stickies until I came across one here.


Heinrich Gernot und Heike BA 2010 (red blend) - the colour of aged tawny port, cherry fruit and spice, liquorice, fruit cake, very unusual, but very good indeed.

JbN "Rosalito" Blaufränkisch 2009 - dark red in the glass, cherry fruit, liquorice and spice on the nose - only a hint of botrytis lets you know it's not dry. More varietal character on the palate which is long, it feels a bit like a low-alcohol young port. Strange but beautiful.

Lenz Moser BA LM Prestige 2008 (white blend) - ripe and marmaledey, with a toasty pungency. Good if not especially exciting.

Sonnenmulder TBA 2005 Welschriesling - golden colour, musky nose, marmaladey glycerol on the palate with pungent botrytis and quinine.

Lower Austria

Brundlmayer TBA Gelber Muskateller 2009 - lychees and botrytis on the nose, lots of varietal character, good balancing acidity.

Felsner Eiswein "Hesperia" 2008 Zweigelt - auburn colour, aromas of pink grapefruit and red berries, spice on the finish.

Stift Klosterneuburg Eiswein GV 2008 - white stone fruit, feels very unusual - hints of grapefruit bitterness, Gruener-esque lentils and celery, mineral on the finish.

Wess BA Riesling 2008 - light and fresh, with marzipan aromas, minerally.


Sattlerhof TBA 2010 Sauvignon Blanc - golden colour, botrytis nose, intensely sweet with zippy acidity, pungent, with quinine and marzipan plus a mineral underpinning.

Recommended Wines

There were some really unusual wines here that will, I hope, impress Fringe Wine.

However, in purely quality terms, the most interesting were the "Rosalito" 2009 and the red-blend BA 2010 from Heinrich Gernot und Heike.

Links and Availability

JbN is currently seeking distribution in the UK.

Heinrich G&H is distributed by Liberty wines.

JbN - www.weingut-jbn.com
Heinrich G&H - www.heinrich.at
Liberty Wines - www.libertywine.co.uk

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