At a well organized wine tasting of Austria’s Domäne Wachau at Boa Steakhouse West Hollywood I learned (among other things detailed below) once again that not all Rieslings are sweet, and was also reminded that I miss Gruner Veltliner. See my mouth-watering slide show here and read the full story below.
Domäne Wachau Lesson and Tasting
Roman Horvath, MV and Winery Director of Domäne Wachau led our lesson and tasting. Here are a few takeaways from the session, with my tasting notes following in the usual format where I separate aromas and flavors with “;”.
- Domäne Wachau, located on the Western end of Wachau, focuses on Gruner Veltliner and Riesling.
- The 2015 season saw record warmer temperatures, with cooling at night.
- Ever since the 1930s and 1940s the area became more single-vineyard driven – because it is seen to produce higher quality wines.
- Domäne Wachau encompasses one third of the Wachau area.
- The winemaking area is very family-driven.
- They don’t use insecticides.
- Domäne Wachau’s Gruner Veltliners comprise 70% of their production, and have more concentration, spice and herbal qualities. Their Rieslings are always fermented completely dry, as is the style in Austria.
Riesling Terrassen Federspiel 2015
Peach, pear, lemon, wet concrete, white flowers – possibly jasmine; grapefruit, lemon, mild acidity. 89 Eve pts.
Grüner Veltliner Terrassen Federspiel 2015
Dried apricot, mown green grass, white peach; viscous, peach again, lemon zest and a touch or orange marmalade. 90 Eve pts.
Grüner Veltliner Terrassen Smaragd 2015
Fruit cocktail, green grapes, powdery perfume; same fruit, perfect balance. 91 Eve pts.
Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Liebenberg 2015
Lemon-lime, peach and slight honeysuckle; honeydew melon, kiwi, lime – all green fruits. 89 Eve pts.
Riesling Federspiel Bruck 2015
Honey, lemon curd, toasted French bread; not as sweet as the nose, with grapefruit, tonic with lemon. 89 Eve pts.
Riesling Terrassen Smaragd 2015
Peaches in light syrup, lemongrass, wet stones; viscous, lemon hard candy with a lingering finish. 91 Eve pts.
Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten 2015
Honey spread on wheat toast, pink grapefruit, gravel; green apple, a touch of white pepper, medium acidity. 90 Eve pts.
Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Kellerberg 2015
Honey, lemon, cantaloupe melon; fresh fruit, nice balance. 92 Eve pts.
Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten 2010
Golden in color, aromas of golden raisins, brown butter and bruised apple; peach tart, hard candy and almond. 93 Eve pts.
Riesling Smaragd Achleiten 2009
Gold color, aromas of sweet incense, chalk and peach candy; smooth, developed fruit, very yummy. 93 Eve pts.
Riesling Beerenauslese Terrassen 2012
A hint of effervescence, spice, overripe and bruised fruit; intense, fruit tart, very balanced. 93 Eve pts.
Grüner Veltliner V.D.N. – Veltliner Doux Naturel 2015 Brandy Fermentation
Sour berries, pear; mouth coating, brandy addition is palatable, candied cherries, ginger. 95 Eve pts.
Blind: Grüner Veltliner Achleiten 1997
I would’ve loved to have notes on this one but it came and went so fast! Suffice it to say it was remarkable and a good showing of how well these wines can age. 95 Eve pts.
It’s one of the best ways to study wine: a lesson, a tasting and then a meal. Trying to get to know a wine when you are eating is near to impossible, unless you are only judging it for its pairing capabilities. Clearly, most people order wine to accompany a meal, but they aren’t likely to note aroma and flavor while rinsing their mouth with it between bites. With that said, we had some amazing dishes offered up Boa Steakhouse. Starting with a Charred Tuna Tartare, entrée choices included an 8-ounce Petite Filet, Faroe Island Natural Salmon, Chilean Seabass, Free Range Chicken Breast, Spaghetti Primavera and the BOA Chop Chop Salad. To finish a cheese platter of Shaft Blue, Camembert and Humboldt Fog was shared.
About Domäne Wachau
Domäne Wachau, located in the Austrian Wachau region, produces an inimitable assortment of white wines, primarily Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, which pay tribute to the pedigree of its vineyards. As the only winery to produce wines from every top cru in the Wachau, Domäne Wachau boasts complex and elegant wines with great finesse, offering firm mineral structure and pronounced character. Master of Wine, Roman Horvath, the second Austrian to successfully complete MW education, joined the Domäne Wachau as Winery Director in 2004 where he has been responsible for the successful quality-oriented restructuring and strategic positioning of the winery.
About Boa Steakhouse
BOA Steakhouse artfully combines a bold, colorful environment with modern-day steakhouse fare. Steaks and chops include a selection of prime Omaha beef such as the “40 Day” Dry Aged New York Strip and the “Bone In” Rib Eye, as well as Certified Organic Beef and Premium American Wagyu, all served with a choice of rubs and house made sauces, including BOA’s own J-1 sauce. A full complement of traditional steakhouse sides is offered, including the Classic Caesar Salad made tableside and Mac-n-Cheese. The menu also offers tempting poultry dishes and superb seafood options, a wide variety of Sandwiches and Salads at lunchtime, an extensive cocktail menu and a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.