2001 Chateau Rieussec

Had a rockin’ sauternes after dinner last night at a nice little jardin restaurant in Lille, a 2001 Chateau Rieussec. It was like someone put a huge overflowing basket of ripe melons and pineapples on my lap and hired a cute exotic belly dancer to spoon feed me toffee dipped in vanilla and honey while fresh orange rose petals rained down upon us from the dark cloudy skies. I’ll give it an 8.5 on a scale of 10; great beat and easy to dance to.

Wine (Good for Women)

Seen today on a menu in Sapa, Vietnam. The differences weren’t clearly explained, only that the sex-specific wines were distinct types made of rice, and the ‘strength’ one from apples. I didn’t try any but now regret that decision.

Four hours to kill at Vienna Airport?

There’s only one reasonable option, the delightfully Austrian-sounding Wine & More.

wines & more - but the wine is enough

It’s a comfortable and snazzy wine, cheese and specialty food shop/café with a decent sized offering of wines by the glass. I tried three but only took notes on two cuvees:

Reinisch Reserve 2007 – A cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend from the Johanneshof Reinisch Estate, located just 30 km south of Vienna in the village of Tattendorf. It’s a beautiful shade of ruby, with blackberry on the nose and delightfully chocolaty on the finish. Well-balanced and slightly edgy tannins give it some backbone to store well for the next few years. That’s what I convinced myself when I decided to take a bottle home. Reinisch is particularly known as one this area’s best red wine producers. Their website is here.

Gesselman Opus Eximium 2007 Cuvee No. 20 – This was certainly more ‘Austrian’ in style, given its composition: 60% blaufrankisch, 20% St. Laurent and 20% zweigelt. These aren’t reds you see everyday – unless you’re regularly passing through eastern Slovenia, western Hungary or southeastern Austria. But they do work together exceptionally well. More on Gesselman is here.

Oh, and there’s also a little smoking booth inside, a clean one, where you can enjoy your over-priced Monte Cristo.

Roman Baggage.

No visit to Italy is complete without a quick wine shopping trip to push the limits of my baggage weight allowance. Any thoughts, suggestions, notes, and/or observations would be most graciously appreciated.

Above: La Braccesca (Antinori) – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2006

- Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2005


- Bersano Nirvasco Barolo 2006


- Masi Brolo di Campofiorin 2006

Tasting notes to follow, eventually.

And no, that’s not an original by contemporary Chinese painter Yue Minjun, whose works have sold for as much as $5 million. It’s a rip-off I bought in Shanghai for about 30 EUR.

La Braccesca (Antinori) – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2006, originally uploaded by pirano.

Slovenian wine notebook

Actually, not really. But hopefully this pic taken yesterday in a friend’s cellar will act as reminder to catch up with a small stack of tasting notes assembled in recent weeks.

This cellar is in the village of Vodol, near Maribor. I was kindly invited to select and take home any three, a most wonderful gift and pleasant surprise. To be honest, I don’t have particularly high hopes for the wines. They’re all local dry whites, 10-20 years old. But I do hope to find at least one surprise.

Maribor wine route 011, originally uploaded by pirano.