Christian CALLEC

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HANNES SABATHI WEINGUT: STYRIAN TERROIR & BURGUNDIAN PASSION (3)

Posted by Christian Callec on vrijdag, januari 13th, 2012

THE TASTING PROOF

I tasted 6 wines, 3 from the Klassik, 2 from the Lagen and 1 from the Reserve range. My opinion about those wines is of course a personal one. This few tasting notes are just meant to tell you the impression those wines made on me (and my wife), not to tell you how the wines really are. As I always say:

The truth is for 20% in the bottle and glass, the rest is just our own interpretation of the truth.

NB: the food combinations are not in following order and not eaten on the same day.

MORILLON KLASSIK 2010: Morillon is the local name for chardonnay… Really enticing wine, fresh, pure, slightly mineral, lovely creamy and very juicy. The aromatic range reminds very good white Burgundy wines: personal associations with hazelnuts (not toasted, just dried) and some fresh bread crumps (may be thanks to the fermentation in big oak casks?). Really enjoyable and highly drinkable (12% alc.) with a fantastic balance and quite a long finish.

Food combination: it did it very well with a mock ‘tonno vitellato’, a reverse combination of fresh tuna slices ‘à la minute’ grilled in white and black sesame seeds, served with a softly meaty veal fricandeau mayonnaise.

Sabathi-Hannes-Range-Klassik-Morillon

SAUVIGNON BLANC KLASSIK 2010: 100% stainless steel tanks (fermentation and ageing). Enticing nose, not too much pyrazine, just a very delicate touch of raw green veggies and a personal association with fresh mountain hay with small flowers in it. Crispy dry attack on the palate, very fresh and juicy, followed by a rather mouth-filling structure, quite complex, with a nice mineral finish with fresh aromatic herbs. Very enjoyable en highly drinkable (12% alc.). Delicious!

Food combination: we had a first glass as aperitif wine, then went on with a light first course composed of rolled cucumber and slightly smoked trout ribbons served with a soft dill, mayonnaise and sour cream dressing. It worked for us.

Sabathi-Hannes-Range-Klassik-Sauvignon Blanc

GELBER MUSKATELLER KLASSIK 2010: this was a surprising wine. In a way we were expecting real ‘muscat’ aromas like in the dry Alsace wines for instance, but this was totally different. Very aromatic nose with some personal associations as wild fennel, green aromatic herbs, spring blossoms and some earthy spices on the back. Very fresh and dry on the palate, very juicy as well, with the same astonishing herbal and floral nuances all along. I would buy this wine as a Styrian white wine, but this was not exactly what I expecting. Not meant negatively, it is a very nice wine, but just different from most muscat wines, even from the Sárgamuskotály (yellow muscat) wines I tasted in Hungary (more citrus, pear, exotic fruits etc.). This just has to be the influence of the terroir and may be also the type of yeasts used… (wild, neutral selection, aroma emphasizing selection). This is really pure, delightful and highly drinkable (11.5% alc.).

Food combination: we were really surprised by this wine and we just took it as a nice aperitif with some raw Ganda ham. May be not the most exciting combination, but it was actually quite enjoyable. I can guess that the match with some Guinea fowl breasts might be sexier.

Sabathi-Hannes-Range-Klassik-Gelber Muskateller

KRANACHBERG SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010: another sauvignon blanc wine, this time from the ‘lagen’ range. Wow, this is quite different indeed! Fantastic nose, very pure, very delicate, with some fresh fruits in it and on the back a personal association with … white truffle? Very elegant freshness, lots of juice, obvious mineral saltiness (terroir?!), great complexity, perfect balance, long and pure finish. Absolutely fantastic!

Food combination: this wine combined incredibly well with softly unilaterally on the skin baked fresh cod fillet with quickly fondant baked scallops and flakes of oven-dried Ganda raw ham.

Sabathi-Hannes-Range-Lagen-Kragenberg Sauvignon Blanc

JÄGERBERG GRAUBURGUNDER 2009: another ‘lagen’ wine, this time a ‘pinot gris’ from the Jägerberg. Again, a high ‘wow’ and ‘aaaah’ rating… Beautiful, pure, sensual nose, full of sun ripen fruit and a hint of warm hay with summer flowers in it… The attack is fresh and juicy, powerful and yet elegant, with a great minerality, a round, smooth, full and mouth-filling structure, and an exciting taste. Heart-warming finish with a hint of spices and dried aromatic herbs. Tremendous wine!

Food combination: we enjoyed this wine with a simply oven roasted Dutch free-range organic farm chicken with a filling of liver, chestnuts, grappa, blond organic raisins and spices… I would do it again, even though I think that Guinea fowl, pheasant, goose, white duck … could match as well.

Sabathi-Hannes-Range-Lagen-Jagerberg Grauburgunder

SAUVIGNON BLANC RESERVE 2007: a wine of the ‘reserve’ range, only made in top-years from the best grapes in the Kranachberg… It promised quite a lot! The expectations were very high, and to be fully honest with you, these expectations have been totally overstepped. The smell of this wine was already worth it: unbelievably ‘Burgundian’, fresh, pure, mineral (fermentation and long maturation on the lees?), with (hazel)nuts and dried fruit aromas and dried wild aromatic herbs in the nose. On the palate, very complex. Fresh attack, powerful but not heavy, elegant and ripe, with a beautiful mineral saltiness and a great aromatic power… I got a personal association of hay fields along the water… Wow! Wow!! Wow!!! Freshness and elegance from begin to finish, and what a long and enticing finish. This is really a wonderful wine… And it seems to be just in the very beginning of a long, long life! Tremendous ageing potential! I just love it! Absolutely one of the very best sauvignon blanc wines I ever had! The concentration, the complexity and the alcohol are high, but they are so well balanced that you never get bored. This is wine, real wine, the way wine is meant to be.

Food combination: I had no idea of the power of this wine and gambled on the elegance and minerality.  We had it with a quick wok sauté of fresh scallops, langoustines tails and salicornia (saltwort), served with (grassy) pandan rice… It was like magic…

Sabathi-Hannes-Range-Reserve-Sauvignon Blanc

CONCLUSION: I would like to thank Hannes Sabathi and Bettina Bäck for this opportunity.

I just have one big regret: that the Dutch importer VINITES only offer the Klassik Morillon (chardonnay) and Sauvignon blanc I know we happen to be in a crisis time, but…

QUALITY, REAL QUALITY HAS NO PRICE… ONLY A VALUE.

The ‘Lagen’ and ‘Reserve’ wines are really worth any investment, especially in the HoReCa (CHR) business. Thanks to their fantastic minerality, they are incredibly challenging for any chef and sommelier. A ‘must buy’ for any serious restaurant.

Austrian wines are really ‘hot’… Choose the right ones, the terroir and fruit driven wines with no make-up, no cellar tricks… Real wines, from passionate wine producers like Hannes Sabathi. I am really impressed and highly recommend the wines of this fascinating young wine producer!

I am not a believer, but for this time I will use the local blessing: Grüß Gott!

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