Posted by: tomciocco | December 6, 2011


By now, it no longer widens eyes when you talk about the very existence of Austrian wine. Tt still sometimes elicits the predictable jokes, but in my experience, introducing the uninitiated to the wines of Austria is the real eye-opener.

The viticultural history of Austria is a long one – at least as old as the traditions of Spain and Portugal for example – and nearly as broad and deep as these places too (this particular producer traces its origins to 1171!). Wines from more northerly, “over the Alps” locations typically elicits thoughts of white wine, and maybe with a particular affinity for sweet wine too. Austria produces no shortage of either of these two vinous forms, but all kinds of dry reds too, and everything else in between.

Tonight’s wine is a definite “in between”. This wine is from a region calld Kamptal in the extreme northeastern corner of Austria that is most closely associated with deep, pure, and powerful white wines made from Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. This wine happens to be a rose` made from two Austrian red grape varieties – Zweigelt and St. Laurent – that are the pride of sunnier and warmer Austrian regions like Burgenland. That said, a few hectares here and there exist in these zones north and west of Vienna precisely to make spunky pink wines like this one.

And while rose` wines are known for their great versatility at the table, I went with a fairly traditional menu of a potato salad dressed with pumpkin seed oil, vinegar, chives and parsley. The main course was a platter of chicken schnitzels with a sour cream, paprika, and dill sauce, and braised red cabbage with apple on the side.









Gobelsburger Kamptal rose` Cistercien 2010

Unusual light brownish copper salmon color. Pungent but complex nose of berries in cream, potpourri, crushed seashells, peach, almond, and a touch of wood smoke. The mouthfeel is moderately viscous and pulpy with a slight spritz that releases sweet/tart flavors of strawberry, blood orange, and splash of sweet cherry, and flavors of pine on the warm but puckering finish.  A clean and sleek wine with a slightly eccentric edge.


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