Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wine You Never Knew You Needed: Gemischter Satz

What? Never heard of Gemischter Satz wines? Neither had we, until this summer, when Mr. Carlos Huber showed up at our shop. Well, he didn’t just show up, he did have an appointment. And in his wine bag, he had a range of tasty Gemischter Satz wines.

GS for short (at least accordingly to me), these wines come from inside the city limits of Vienna, are made from anywhere from 2 to 20 grape varieties, all growing on the same plot of land, and all harvested and vinified together. I could tell you more about the joys of field blends, or you could just read what Eric Asimov at the New York Times wrote in his Wednesday column.

Tasting through Carlos’s selection of GS wines, I was impressed at how different they all were. Some were light and floral, some a bit more weighty and oily. One had this almost yeasty/bready note going on. But all managed to be wonderfully fresh, aromatic and generally charming. Pardon me while I get all wine-geeky, but they all tasted like slightly different versions of springtime. And as the weather starts to get all chilly and bitter, who couldn’t use a bit of springtime in a glass.

That’s the general scoop on the GS. To get more specific, the one we currently carry is Weinbau Jutta Ambrositsch Wiener Gemischter Satz Sommeregg Reserve 2008. The name is quite a mouthful: Jutta Ambrositsch is the young, female winemaker. Gemischter Satz is the GS classification I mentioned above. Sommeregg is the vineyard site. Weinbau means something like Domaine and Wiener just means wine. At least I think that’s what it all means.

The wine itself manages to combine lightness with complexity – flowers, citrus, earthiness, white spices, berries, fresh herbal notes. Very close to 20 grape varieties are grown on Jutta’s plot of land, which was planted over 50 years ago. It’s a rarity that a wine of this dry wine is so light yet so complex, but that’s old vines, a diverse field blend, and a good vintner can do.

At $45.99, it’s not inexpensive. There are less expensive GS wines available, and we’ll probably bring some in. But we were intrigued by this one and wanted to get our hands on some before someone else got them all. If you’re looking for a unique, wonderfully different white wine that can justify a $50 price tag, this would be your bottle.

Come pick one up before we drink it all ourselves. (Fair warning…we have been known to do this, despite our accountant’s better judgment.)

P.S.  (Can I do this on a blog post?  Apparently, I can if I say I can.)  Mr. Asimov also mentions the fantastic Rainer Christs's delicious Gelber Muskateller.  But every good Gelber Muskateller deserves it's own post, so we'll get to that later.


Fermented Thoughts said...

Is the bottle Opaque? Otherwise I'm thinking vodka ... Reminds me of Portugal and field blends ... either genius or laziness - either way, I'm intrigued.

Christy said...

I think this is just an empty bottle. The juice is actually a lovely pale straw. I'll repost a good picture, but wanted to get something up. It's definitely not vodka!