wines part 9
a spirt intermission
Meet Hans Reisetbauer. He's a big chap who's something
of a celebrity in Austria; he doesn't make wine, but his fruit
schnapps are celebrated and sought after. He joined us for dinner at
the wonderful Palais Coburg to show us his wares.
I'm a wine dude, and my knowledge of spirits is patchy, to say the
least. So here you have not the opinions of an expert on the subject,
but an amateur. Take these verdicts with a pinch of salt therefore; I
won't be using scores or ratings because of this.
schnapps are vintage dated and made from high quality ingredients.
They are taken very seriously in Austria.
we begin with the 2003 Morilles (apricot). It's ripe and sweet
with soft apricotty aromas and lots of rather medicinal alcohol.
2002 Williams Pear is very pear-like (do you notice a
theme emerging here?), with remarkable flavours of pear. Hans has
planted some 9000 pear trees over the last 10 years.
2003 Vogelbeer (rowan berry) has wild, pungent damson aromas
with an almond/marzipan edge.
Himbeer (raspberry) shows bright raspberries with a firm, spicy
most sought after schnapps is the next one, the 2002 Alicie,
which retails for 180 Euros a bottle (375 ml). The damson and almond
nose leads to an expressive, rich nutty palate showing plum and damson
something very weird and a little disturbing: the 2004 Ingwer.
This is made from ginger, and I have to be honest and say I found it
repellent. Bright pungent, spicy ginger dominates. An acquired taste?
we try the 1996 Single Malt Whisky. This is very impressive,
with a smooth, open pungent nose. The palate is fiery and deep, with
nice smoothness at the same time.
I was intrigued and impressed by this line-up. Lots of interest across
the range, although I couldn't really cope with the Ingwer.
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