The 200th anniversary of “Silent Night” is the perfect occasion to taste Austria’s sweet wines writes author Anne Krebiehl MW for the Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Trockenbeerenauslese, also called TBA, (meaning literally “dried berries selection”) is Austria’s richest, sweetest wine and is made from individually selected botrytis-infected berries. Rosenhof’s Chardonnay TBA is one of Krebiehl’s recommendations: A smokiness lies thickly above the apple fruit notes of this heady TBA, glossing everything with a darker, brooding presence. That same smoky darkness hovers on the palate, but here the spiky, bright spur of lemon freshness breaks through triumphantly, lending drive and precision to the apricot and Mirabelle plum fruit that spreads its lusciousness across the tongue. This is rich, concentrated, intense and beautifully unusual. For a perfect Austrian Christmassy experience, Anne Krebiehl suggests having a glass of Trockenbeerenauslese with Vanillekipferl, crescent-shaped buttery Christmas cookies with a nutty, almond flavor. Silent Night playing in the background of course.
Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe Vehovar: father and sons. We cut across the Croatian border to Slovenia to stay with some family there in Slovenska Bistrica. On a previous trip, they had mentioned that their neighbor was a wine maker and that we might be interested to check out his winery. Whether it was fear of someone with a barrel in the garage they aged weekly or just lack of time, we didn’t get to it. This trip however, we made a proper visit to Vehovar Winery and were duly impressed. The winery is family-run affair with the father, Boris, at the helm. His two sons Sebastian and Isidor showed us around. They started up a new cellar in 1996 that has a 90,000 liter capacity and is 11 meters (36 feet) underground at the deepest point. Unfortunately due to a disastrous hail storm last year, they were only using 12,000 liters of that capacity. Sauvignon and Rumeni Muškat Their white wine production currently consists of Traminec, Riesling, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Sivi (grey), Rumeni, Muškat, and Šipon. They do an ice harvest as well, but to add to the misery of … Continue reading In Eastern Slovenia with Vehovar
Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe Bottle and classy presentation Another winery that we sampled at the Novi Sad Wine Fair was Aleksandrović. He is located in Vinća, Topela in Serbia and like most wine producers in the region, his family had a long tradition of wine making that stopped and didn’t really start again until Communism ended and he could produce for more people than just his immediate family. Since they started up again in 1991, they have managed to build their winery up to producing 200,000 to 300,000 liters a year from the 20 hectares that they own as well as from a supply of grapes from others in the area who augment their estate grapes. Several other wines While they make a great number of wines including a Rosé and a Pinot Noir, it was only the whites that we tasted. We started a tad bit skeptical of these whites from Serbia, but were quickly impressed due to the wonderful craft that has gone in to these wines. The 2006 Riesling weighed in at 13.2% alcohol and was a blend of Rhine and Italian varietals. It was very nice … Continue reading The Whites of Aleksandrović