Last Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting Karl and Brigitta Steininger, the family behind Steininger, one of our favorite producers of Austrian wine, at a tasting held by local importer Klaus Wittauer of KW Selections.
I started with a vintage sparkling Riesling -look at that snazzy bottle! This 2008 had rounded out nicely from a few years in bottle, but still retained lovely freshness and varietal character.
Favorites currently on the shelves here at Chain Bridge Cellars showed well, and I got a chance to taste a single-vineyard bottling of the Riesling Kamptal we carry.
One of the more special bottles on display was a magnum of our ever-popular Gruner Veltliner Grand Gru. Klaus informed me that in this vintage, the acacia casks that have become an integral part of the Grand Gru profile were new, and it was evident as soon as I put my nose in the glass. The aromas of honeysuckle and vanilla were exotic, while on the palate the wine showed satisfying richness and structure. A Gruner for lovers of white Burgundy, for sure.
Also sure to please Burgundy and Champagne lovers was the Burgunder sparkling wine. Steininger produces 10 different sparkling wines, most of them single-varietal, but this blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, is their answer to French Champagne. This was a serious sparkler, its richness and wood influence a nod to high-end French producers like Krug. The Gruner Veltliner Sekt, a staple in our sparkling selection, held its own against the Burgunder and the current vintage of the sparkling Riesling.
Whenever we get a chance to meet the people who make the wines we carry, we jump at it – thanks to Klaus Wittauer of KW Selections and Select for bringing Karl and Brigitta Steininger to the US!