I have made it a sort of policy to go to as many wine tastings as I can this year to try and keep in better touch with what is going on in the wine world. With this in mind, I made my way to the Austrian Wine Fair alst week, where there was a good range of Austrian wines, both red and white, imported and those looking for representation.
I tended to veer towards the wines that were available on the market as I was looking for new wines for the shop. I also wanted to educate myself on Austrian reds, a topic on which I am embarassingly ignorant.
Overall, the quality was very high, I don't think I tasted a single wine that was badly made or unpleasant in any way. The wines I liked best came from names like Gobelsburg, Sepp Moser and Eichinger. The best ones, in my opinion, however were from Brundlmayer. We used to bring in small amounts of this through the UK, but we might start working with them directly if we can make the economics and logistics work. I currently have a bottle of Riesling Zobinger Heiligenstein 2007 open in the fridge that is just magic. Clarity, complexity, concentration, this wine has it all. Fantastic stuff and all their wines are of an exceptionally high quality. I will come back to these, definitely.
I did a quick run through the reds, here is my still quite ignorant summary:
Zweigelt - the ones I tried had a slightly medicinal quality to them and some harsh tannins - all in all too much like Pinotage for my liking.
Blaufrankish - better but still not doing it for me
St. LAurent - this was more to my taste, elegant, silky texture and nice fruit - heading in to Pinot Noir or Syrah territory, where I like to be
Blauburgunder - Pinot Noir - some very tasty examples of this, particularly from Schloss Halbturn (not available, very expensive) which was the best red I tasted on the day.