House: Johann Topf
Name: Chardonnay Hasel
Origin: Kamptal, Austria
Price: 144 DKK/19,30 EUR/23,80 USD on winefamly.dk (market price: 269 DKK/36,10 EUR/44,50 USD)
Eiswein – Ice wine
Today I will be looking at the specialties that Austrian wine industry has to offer. First of them is Eiswein. Simply put, eiswein is a wine made from frozen grapes. In order for a wine to be put in this category, temperatures in the vineyard have to be around -7 º C (for at least several hours) will freeze the water crystals in the grapes. This is when the grapes must be harvested and pressed. In the press, the water remains as clumps of ice while only the concentrated “must” flows out. Wines have a very fruity taste with high level of sugar.
Strohwein – hay wine
Historically, strohwein has been made from grapes that have been dried on hay grids – hence the name. Some of the winemakers still use this old method but due to the low reliablity and low yield many of them switch to simple drying in aerated attics. If you ever get your hands on real strohwein, you will notice its very distinct golden yellow color and the wine actually gets notes of hay that are very pleasant.
Beerenauslese, Trocken beerenauslese
BA or TBA for short is wine made from grapes that are left on the vine for a very long time and look like raisins. By that time they are also struck by noble mold Botrytis Cinerea. The water simply evaporates and due to the lower water content in the grapes, sugar gets concetrated. Minimum sugar requirement for TBA is 30 KWM which means there has to be at least 30 kg of sugar for 100 kg of must. TBA has a distinct orange flavor and very fruity and spicy taste.
Johann Topf, Chardonnay Hasel 2015
It might seem a little bit strange to taste a dry wine after writing about noble sweet wines but nevertheless, let’s get to it. Right in the beginning we can see a beautiful golden yellow color. In the nose we get an interesting new smell – something similar to freshly cut grass. I also find traces of vanilla and apples. In the taste, this wine is very creamy and juicy, with nice playful acidity. We get notes of pineapple and peaches. Wine has medium long aftertaste with smooth finish.
This is very typical Austrian Chardonnay with golden color and fruity taste. It is a great alternative to all the Chardonnay wines. If you are tired of oaky Burgundy wines or ultra light chardonnay from New World, Austria should be your go-to point.