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HOPLER AUSTRIAN WINE TASTING

What a treat this night was:  A chance to taste some of the offically recognised finest wines from Austria with our prestige grower/producer Louise Hoepler, as enjoyed by royalty and world famous chefs.   They even make wines for the Trapp Family! Located in the eastern edge of the country it is close to the Neusiedler See, a large lake which mirrors the morning sun onto the wine slopes providing extra warmth in the ripening season. 

Starting with the most famous and widely grown white wine, Gruner Veltliner 2015, this is the ultimate shellfish wine - pure serendipity with oysters.  Crisp but not sharp, aromatic but not overpowering, clean, fresh and minerally, this wine should be on every serious restaurant's wine list. It should also be the go-to dry white for every wine drinker for less than £10. 

Next up was their Pinot Blanc 2015. Normally only seen from Alsace, this beautifully fruity example was soft, not too dry with just the right amount of balacing acidity. A surpise wine to many and a real crowd pleaser - orders for this wine were very gratifying at the offer price of £10.50.

Celestia Rosé 2016 was simply a revelation - made from Blaufrankisch, Pinot Noir and St Laurent grapes this wonderful summer wine had everything one could wish from a rosé and more.   Clean, dry and refreshing packed with fruit flavours  it must rank as one of the all-time best rosés anywhere.

The first of the Burgundian style reds was Zweigelt 2012, the most widely grown red in Austria.  A blend of Blaufrankisch and St Laurent,  it is very soft easy drinking and a real quaffer that doesn't necessarily demand food.  It is worth noting that all their red wines are matured for three years before release to ensure proper integration of flavours, whilst allowing the tannins to soften.  As a result this example has none of the harsh tannins that beset wines which are rushed out too quickly by less careful producers.  Offer price £10.50.

We followed on with quite simply best Pinot Noir I have tasted in a very long time.  We sampled the 2014 vintage which, on offer at £11.50, is real value.  A fabulous earthy but fruity Pinot nose was followed through on the palate where some were impressed by a lovely gentle sweetness matching the superb complexity.  Only very careful attention to detail with this fickle and difficult thin-skinned fragile grape variety can produce such a wonderful result.  Watch out Burgundy, this would compare more than favourably with wines ten times the price! 

The third red was probably the least well-known on show, a single grape varietal known as St Laurent.  We were able to show a 10 year aged version from 2007, showing just how good these reds are as it still tasted delicious in a mature way. Similar to a Pinot Noir, the nose was again earthy whilst on the palate we detected a kind of spicy character.  It is recommended to be particularly good with herbed pork.   It is rare to find aged wines at a sensible price these days and this stands out as the bargain of the moment on offer at £9.00.   

The next red was the Blaufrankisch 2013, another native grape - not to be confused with Pinot Noir, as is often done erroneously in the USA. In fact it is distantly related to Cabernet Franc, and again this was simply excellent.  Rich with a superb ruby red crystal clear colour,  beguiling complex nose with oaky notes, on the palate it is crying out for Roast Lamb. A fabulous wine, sensibly priced at £10.50.

The final red is called K7.  The vintage on show came from 2009.  It is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Blaufrankisch and is designed with the younger fruit driven market in mind. It has slight spiciness on the nose, and a full-bodied feel in the mouth, this vintage being vinified at 14%abv, having enjoyed particularly rewarding summer sun.  The deepest of the reds tasted, it is on offer £12.50

As we all like to round things off with nice touch of sweetness, Louise suggested their outstandingly rich Trockenbierenauslese (TBA) 2015.  Heaven in a bottle.  Then Paul sprang a little suprise on the assembled multitude with Apple Strudel and Ice Cream for everyone, making a perfect and appropriate partnership with this amazing dessert wine.   Obviously such wines are extremely expensive to make given the tiny amount of concentrated nectar juice which can be extracted from the shriveled raisiny pellets, nevertheless, it would be wonderful to round off every meal with a delicious glass of this nectar.  Worth every penny at £16.50 for a 35cl bottle.  

We wholeheartedly offer our great thanks to Louise for her entertaining, interesting, instructive and informative insight to the world of Hopler wines.  We are very proud to be a major supplier in the UK for these sensational wines. The prices quoted are for a limited period only and do not include carriage.  Please contact us for delivered prices.