Friday, May 24, 2013

Martin Mittelbach from the "Tegernseehof" and Klaus Wittauer from "KWSelection" Presented Tegernseehof Wines and Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett from “Trummer’s on Main” in Clifton Austrian Appetizers at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, USA

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

One of the main drivers of Austrian wine at the East Coast in the US, Klaus Wittauer from KWSelection, invited for a special luncheon at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, where Martin Mittelbach from the Wachau presented his wines, paired with Austrian apetizers presented by Stefan Trummer from “Trummer’s on Main” in Clifton and prepared by his new Executive Chef Austin Fausett. I also had the chance to taste Martin Mittelbach’s wines the day before in Reston, at the Wine Cabinet.

Picture: Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

The Wachau

The Wachau is a UNESCO world heritage site in the Danube Valley between the towns of Melk and Krems. Mainly Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are grown 1,350 hectares, partly on very steep-inclined terraces.

Pictures: Martin Mittelbach, Klaus Wittauer and Christian G.E. Schiller at the Wine Cabinet in Reston, Virginia

The Wachau is one of Austria's most exciting and fascinating wine regions. Over millions of years, the Danube has gorged its winding waterway through the 'Gföhl' gneiss, a mineral rich composition of migmatitic granite gneiss, quartz, felspar and mica. The weathered primary granite rock soils on steep terraces produce outstanding Rieslings. Following the end of the Ice Age, prevailing winds carried drifting sand that settled in the lee of the east-facing hillsides, resulting in layers of loess forming. This is where great, opulent and expressive Grüner Veltliner is cultivated. These extremely diverse geological terrain, coupled with the construction of terraces in the best aspects, and the cultivation of vines on these steep inclines by the Bavarian monasteries during the Middle Ages, has resulted in a spectacular and unique Wachau landscape.

The climate also plays a vital role, and two major climatic influences, the western Atlantic and the eastern Pannonian, interlock with each other. 

Pictures: Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Annette Schiller, wine tours by ombiasy.

For upcoming ombiasy wine tours, see:
Germany Wine and Culture Tour August 2013
Bordeaux Wine Tour September 2013

Wachau Wine Classification

In the mid-1980's, a select group of innovative producers in the Wachau created their own codex, aptly called the Vinea Wachau, where dry white wines are divided into three categories, based on their natural alcohol content by volume. Martin Mittelbach belongs to the group.

Aromatic, light-bodied wines up to 11.5% are called 'Steinfeder' (named after the tall, feather-like grass stipa pennata). The most common category is the 'Federspiel', with 11.5% to 12.5% alcohol by volume, and the late-harvest, rich and powerful, dry wines carry the term 'Smaragd'.

Martin Mittelbach and his Tegernseehof in the Wachau

The Mittelbach family's Tegernseerhof, located in Unterloiben, just below Dürnstein, boasts a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. The original facilities were built in 1176 by the Benedictine community of the Tegernsee Abbey. At the time, the abbey was recognized as a center for literature, the production of illustrated books and erudition. The abbey and its vineyards were first mentioned in a small book about the Tegernsee vineyards in 1427. For centuries, the abbey was where the Bavarian monastery produced its wine. At the turn of the 19th century, it was acquired by the Austrian Empire and decades later, it went into private ownership.

Pictures: Klaus Wittauer, Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

Franz Mittelbach and his wife, Mathilde, are the fifth generation of  Tegernseerhof owners. Since the 1970s, they have been continuously running the Tegernseerhof as a family business. Today, Martin Mittelbach, the son of Franz and Mathilde, has carried on this tradition. Vineyards: 23 hectares (57 acres); 50 % Terraced Vineyards

Pictures: At the White House

The Wines

I tasted a range of wines during the 2 events. All of them are included here.

Tegernseehof Rosé Zweigelt 2012 US$12

Klaus Wittauer: “A beautiful hue of watermelon sets just the right tone for this bright, disarmingly fun rosé. Crisp, dry and ultra-refreshing, this light to medium bodied wine exudes an intoxicating perfume of ripe cherry and crushed strawberry. The wine holds its balance throughout the finish, never once striking a confectionery note. A joy to drink and absolutely appropriate anytime.”

Tegernseerhof T 26 Grüner Veltliner 2012 Federspiel US$16

Klaus Wittauer: “The vineyard is called Frauenweingarten. When we  tasted this wine the first time in 2006 it was in tank #26. Very aromatic, full of round fruit balanced with crisp acidity. The distinct soil lends a pleasant minerality, while the tropical fruit play is balanced with a white pepper note typical of this varietal. Pairs well with a wide range of foods including Asian cuisine and fish with fresh herbs.”

Tegernseerhof Grüner Veltliner Bergdistel 2011 Smaragd US$27

Klaus Wittauer: “The Bergdistel Smaragd is a blend of the lower terraces of the different Cru’s in Loibenberg and Weissenkirchen.  The combination of coolness, maturity and vitality of this Grüner Veltliner finishes in a shining elegance and full of finesse! Intense, concentrated wine, which packs spice, ripe pineapple and apricots and a final floral character that fills the mouth.  The result is one of the most elegant and balanced Smaragd Grüner there is…….”

Tegernseehof Riesling Terrassen 2012 Federspiel US$20

This wine just got 92 points in Austria and was voted best Federspiel Riesling by Falstaff

Klaus Wittauer: It´s peach, apple aroma flavors, mingle with a white pepper note in this scented yet powerful Riesling. Balanced and ending with a mineral aftertaste. This wine is simply delicious.

Tegernseerhof Weissenkirchner Zwerithaler 2010 Smaragd US$33

Klaus Wittauer: “This single vineyard from Weissenkirchen in the Wachau has very old vines and it is a field blend which is called “Gemischter Statz“ in Austria. Here is how Martin Mittelbach describes the wine: “Through the picturesque extravagance of “Zwerithaler” this cru developed into ascetic museum - old varieties, crumbling walls - the time seems to have stood still. To bring the flavor potential of these two positions accurately and significantly expressed, we put the varietal character in the background. This is a full-bodied dry white wine with a rich creamy texture similar to some to the great White Burgundies with a long beautiful finish……”

Tegernseerhof Riesling Loibenberg 2009 Smaragd US$37

Klaus Wittauer: “This single vineyard Riesling rivals the greatest white wines in the world. Powerful and punchy, layered with abundant fruit and complex minerals, it's stunningly great now and for the next twenty+ years. It tastes rich and lush in the mouth and finishes with a huge wallop of acidity that accentuates the complexity like a giant exclamation mark! Wow. Serve with sushi & sashimi, Mussels Meuniere, trout "Muddy Waters" from Uglesich's in New Orleans and roast pork loin with apples and cabbage.”

Tegernseerhof Grüner Veltliner Hoehereck 2010 Smaragd US$40

Austrian Apetizers from Trummer's on Main in Clifton, Virginia

Tom Sietsma of the Washington Post: “One of my favorite mom-and-pops in the area remains this three-story retreat in the charming hamlet of Clifton, where owners Stefan and Victoria Trummer continue to greet you as if you're good neighbors, and chef Clay Miller sends out food that makes the trip from anywhere worthwhile.” “At Trummer’s on Main, we combine my New York City experience with the charm of historic Clifton by stimulating guest’s senses with excellent food, always-intriguing unique cocktails and true European hospitality” says Austria-borne Stefan Trummer.

Christian G.E. Schiller with Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

Stefan Trummer came with his new boss of the kitchen at Trummer’s: Chef Austin Fausett's formally Sous-chef at The Inn at Little Washington. Austin also cooked for one year in Vienna and speaks a bit of German.


Smoked Trout Caviar with Buckwheat Blinis, Rhubbarb and Onion Jam, and Crème Fraiche

Chicken Liver Mousse Tartine on Baguette with Fava Beans and Toasted Hazelnuts

Asparagus Tips Wrapped with Speck and Greek Jogurt


schiller-wine: Related Postings

Dinner with Wine Maker Gerhard Wohlmuth sen., his Wines and the Food of Steierland’s Chef Ruth Stelzer, Austria

Visiting Leo Hillinger, Michael Hoeffken and Edgar Brutler at the Leo Hillinger Winery in Jois, Austria

Wine Producer Austria - Not Only Gruener Veltliner

Meeting “John” Nittnaus from Gols, Burgenland, Austria

At the Forefront of Biodynamic Winemaking: Visiting Werner and Angela Michlits and their Weingut Meinklang in Austria

Visiting Christine, Christina and Franz Netzl in their Weingut Netzl in Carnuntum, Austria

Sauvignon Blanc in Austria – A Comparative Tasting with Falstaff's Peter Moser at Weinsinn in Frankfurt, Germany

With the WienWein Winemakers in Vienna in the Heurigen Drinking Gemischter Satz Wine

Lunch with Silvia Prieler, Weingut Prieler, Schuetzen am Gebirge, Austria

Producing Wines in Austria and Hungary - Franz and Franz Reinhard Weninger

With the WienWein Winemakers in Vienna in the Heurigen Drinking Gemischter Satz Wine

Schiller’s Favorite Spots to Drink Wine in Vienna, Austria

Tasting Leo Hillinger Red Wines with Leo Hillinger’s Assistant Winemaker Michael Hoeffken and US Importer Klaus Wittauer

Visit: Gerhard Wohlmuth sen. and his Weingut Wohlmuth in Austria

Visiting Leo Hillinger, Michael Hoeffken and Edgar Brutler at the Leo Hillinger Winery in Jois, Austria

A Wedding and a Wine Tasting at Schloss Halbturn in Austria

A Super Wine Bar in a Supermarket: Meinl’s Wein Bar in Vienna, Austria

Zum Schwarzen Kameel - The Ultimate Classic of Viennese Wine Bars, Vienna, Austria

Vis-a-Vis Wine Bar in Vienna, Austria

Wine and Coffee with Guenther Hawelka at Café Hawelka (and at Buffet Trzésniewski) in Vienna, Austria

No comments:

Post a Comment