Unless, like Andreas Wickhoff, one has the encyclopaedic knowledge that earns one the designation of Master of Wine, it’s useful to have a few short cuts to jog the memory when seeking the world’s better bottles. Herr Wickhoff is the managing director for an organization that provides this exactly this service to discerning drinkers: the Premium Estates of Austria. It’s a collection of artisanal and environmentally responsible wine makers, each representing one of that country’s six principal grape growing regions. The members of the group, which formed over a decade ago as a way to share marketing and promotional efforts and costs are: Gölles, Heinrich, Loimer, Sattlerhoff, Schellman, and Wieniger.
Wickhoff was in Toronto recently to preside over a showcase of Austrian wines available through the Premium Estates’ Ontario agent, Le Sommelier. A select gathering of trade and media tasted through a range of whites and reds, including the premium 2012 Terrassen and Spiegel Reserve Grüner Veltliners from Loimer and a trio of amazing value light but rich, and completely idiosyncratic reds from Heinrich: the 2012 Dorflagen Pinot Noir, and 2012 Zweigelt and Blaufränkish, respectively. The wines are available on consignment or private order. A full list of what was tasted (with notes) and what’s available through Le Sommelier is here.
Before the tasting got crowded I sat down with Andreas Wickhoff for a quick video interview and chat about Austrian wine.
Can’t see the video? Click here.