Vinul din Cluj

Cuvinte despre vinuri incercate, degustari si evenimente, calatorii si retete

The sweetest Friday


Going out with friends on a Friday night in July means cold beers, frozen cocktails or well chilled white wine. Arriving home from the bar however, with a midnight storm brewing over the city, your are still thinking of having a last drink. Looking around in the liquor cabinet and in the fridge, your best choice for a nice and tasteful ending of the evening is a desert wine.

Not many have heard of the sweet wines of Austria’s Burgenland region, and those who actually do know about these wines are regular buyers, since they are in small supply to begin with. The sweet wines of Burgenland are one of Austria’s most overlooked products. A little winery in the town of Illmitz called Kracher has been making this wine since the 1950s, in a region known for its moderate climate and long foggy autumns, which favor the noble rot. Alois Kracher, Sr., the founder of the winery, worked believing that his sweet wines were the equal of any in the world, so in 1981 -his best vintage- held a comparative tasting of his wines with those of Chateau d’Yquem, Kracher wines winning every flight.

The winery produces around 10,000 cases of half-bottles each year, the quantity varying significantly depending on the vintage; typically releases a line of late harvest cuvees each year labeled „Cuvee Blend”. It contains different levels of selection and ripeness -Spatlese, Auslese, and Beerenauslese (these three terms represent increasingly late levels of picking the grapes, and therefore sugar levels).

The 2011  „Cuvee Blend” is a Spatlese, containing 50% Pinot Gris, 45% Welsh Riesling, 5% Muscat Ottonel, and 11.5% alcohol (this information is available on a factsheet from the winery’s website, not on the label). In the glass the wine is pale yellow, colored like old straws, bright yet deep. The first nose is discreet, with golden apples and wet stones; after a couple of swirls some zesty citrus notes emerge, lingering in the nose. The citrus flavors are bouncing also in the mouth, with  a moderate sweetness just enough to give a body to the flavors. Lemon curd and apple pie, and a hint of lemongrass are persistent in the mouth , with a light creamy texture. The finish is slightly salty and mineral, reminding of a seaside breeze.

This wine has a simple and restrained elegance, it is not bold and pushy, and lets you dive in its delicate notes without demanding the entire attention.

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