I’ve never been able to make my love of Gemischter Satz a secret: I simply love the stuff, as I do with all Viennese wine. If you’re not familiar with this unique style of wine, allow me to explain:
Whereas a “Cuvee” is a blended mixture of individually fermented varietal wines, a “Gemischter Satz” is a wine where the varietals were picked together (or later mixed) and then fermented together – the marriage takes place before rather than after fermentation. This follows an age-old Viennese tradition and many winemakers still don’t known exactly what makes up the final wines: red and white are mixed, wines from different vineyards, different ripeness levels – it sounds like a mess but, with a bit of know-how, excellent wines can be created.
The practise has now officially recognised as one of Austria’s new “DAC” wines – the style is therefore protected and this legendary status proves that these wines really are some of Austria’s best. This wine from Wieninger is made using grapes grown only in the Vienna city and surrounding vineyards. Grapes used include Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner and Welschriesling.
White gold – rather pale. A touch of CO2 but nothing too drastic.
A lot going on at once. The youth of this wine is immediately noticeable through a floral, perfume smell that leaps out of the bottle when first opened. There is a whole lot of citrus going on as well: lemon juice, grapefruit and clementines but also stone fruit in the way of nectarine. The wine smells tart and yet rather aromatic: fresh herbs and a touch of black pepper come through as well.
Whereas the nose is big and mixed, the wine is rather structured on the palate. The attack is of light and bright citrus, floral notes and delicately leads onto the stone fruit body. The lemon zest here is very zingy but never out of place and leads to a crisp, peppery, herbal finish.
Another incredible Wiener Gemischter Satz – whereas it is often the case that wine tastes better as it ages, I actually prefer to drink Gemischter Satz as young as possible. This 2014 is zingy, refreshing, large and yet actually quite light. I’m looking forward to trying the Nußberg and Rosengartl wines from the same winery later this year.
When I drink Viennese wine, I always get a bit romantic.
Viennese wine defines the city and folk of Vienna better than any other wine describes the locals living close to where it is produced. I know that might sound a bit like something one of those TV wine people might say but it really is true: visit a Vienna Heuriger, try some Gemischter Satz and you’ll know what I’m talking about. For more on Wiener Wein click here. For my review of Wieninger’s entry-level Gemischter Satz, click here)
This wine from one of my favourite Austrian wineries Wieninger and is one of the firm’s flagship products: a Gemischter Satz made using grapes grown in the Ulm vineyard – in the eastern part of the Nussberg, a south-facing slope on the banks of the mighty river Danube.
Gemischter Satz itself is a specialty, pretty much limited only to Vienna. Instead of the blending happening after the individual varietals are individually fermented, different varietals are picked and fermented together from one vineyard. This leads to a very unique feel: all of the styles at once and yet, whilst that might sound chaotic, a handful of wineries manage to pull it off rather well. Wieninger is undoubtedly one of these.
This Gemischter Satz is made of no less than nine varietals: Pinot Blanc, Neuburger, Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, Sylvaner, Zierfandler, Rotgipfler, Traminer and Riesling. The vines which produce the grapes for this wine are almost fifty years old and, since 2008, this wine has been certified as having been organically produced by respekt.
Straw yellow with bright, shiny green hints.
Really complex and rather strong: almost layered: fruit and minerals, then fruit and minerals again. Whilst white and green apples are immediately noticeable, this is extinguished by some really gritty mineral tones: herby, vegetative aromas that remind of iron and granite. Then, all of a sudden, you’ve got lemon peel, grapefruit and a sprinkling of stone fruit (peach mostly). Before the nose is finished, that rewarding note of woody-ripeness is there to pink out, reminding immediately of the elegance found in aged Rheingau Riesling or Chablis.
Surprisingly fresh on the attack - lemon, lime, grapefruit and green apple quickly turn into a heraly affair with oregano and sage taking the stage and then almost immediately giving it back to lemon peel. The lemon peel turns into granite and iron and the finish is long and, whilst not subtle, clean and enjoyable.
A wonderfully complex wine with about as much going on as the city of Vienna itself: by far the best Gemischter Satz I’ve ever had and, whilst not cheap, it offers uniqueness and exclusivity found nowhere else in the world – therefore it offers rather good value for money.
WienWein | Qualitätswein | Vienna, Austria | Staatl. Prüfnr. “L“ N 9360/12
Wieninger is one of my favourite Austrian wineries. Famed for their specialty white Gemischter Satz wines, they produce a handful of reds as well. Alongside a Pinot Noir and a Bordeaux style cuvée comes this: a mixture of Blauer Zweigelt, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, hence the name ‘Trilogie’.
Vienna itself is one of Austria’s most unqiue but also important production regions. As the only European capital city with an extensive wine industry, the region is most famous for both its mixed-harvest wines and the many Heuriger wine bars throughout the city. A small player on the world scene, the wines of the Austrian capital are unique and very, very interesting. For more on the Viennese wine scene, click here.
Pomegranate red with a very dark body, the hue was almost clear if not for a faint sense of lilac.
The nose was absolutely dominated by sweet red berries and fresh red cherry. There was a small amount of Cassis in there too but also some lovely red plum and a hint of something nutty: possibly almonds.
The attack was very discreet but it eventually offered up some lovely ripe red cherry: smooth and silky until it explored the deeper compote aromas of redcurrant, cranberry and plum. There was an underlying structure with a subtle tannin and wood-driven background note. The whole thing felt smoky and toasty at the end and this worked well with the cherry overture.
A very full red. I was expecting a clumsy effort (like the German wineries produce when combining Germanic grapes with the classically French stuff) but the Merlot and Cabernet was very ripe and fits unbelievably well with Zweigelt. Nevertheless the wine is one of mixed feelings: the fruit attack is big and bold like New-World stuff and yet the companionship with classic varietals as well as a small oak handling makes it feel very traditional: I like it, it fits. It is then a rarity, a specialty and therefore in a class of its own. An excellent food wine: Tafelspitz, a properly-made Wiener Schnitzel or any game dish would fit perfectly.
If you’ve ever been to Vienna, you’ll probably have noticed how the city has a completely unique vibe to it. It’s not quite northern European despite the architecture, Germanic language and over-punctuality but, for these very reasons nor is it South-European despite the locals being a bit louder, a bit later and a bit more…al fresco. Vienna is a special city and has a special place in many peoples’ hearts – mine included and thanks to its location, also a prime wine-growing region – the only European capital with a notable wine-growing heritage.
Whilst the majority of wineries have moved onto to making first-class Riesling, some cracking pepper-driven Veltliner and some excellently juicy Zweigelt, the old-fashioned regime of Wiener Gemischter Satz is still to be found – an interesting take on wine, performed nearly nowhere else and strangely modern at the same time.
The Viennese have no qualms in mixing drinks, the Wiener Mélange is a mixture of Coffee and Hot Chocolate and the local winemakers think that mixing grape varietals together is also a great way to depict the city itself: the harsh northern grapes: Riesling and Veltliner with those of the South: Sauvignon Blanc and anything else they can cram in.
I can hear a question coming: what is the difference between Wiener Gemischter Satz then and a normal varietal cuvee? This is a good question but has a simple answer: cuvees are made with individually fermented wines which are later mixed to create a wine. Gemischter Satz is made using several different grape varietals in one fermentation – Riesling grapes, Veltliner grapes and Sauvignon grapes are fermented together rather than separately – this, of course, gives the wine a whole new feel and a very interesting taste.
Wieninger is one of Vienna’s biggest names when it comes to wine. With their popular varietal wines such as Zweigelt and Riesling being available nearly all over Austria, they also create modern ‘Viennese cuvees’ such as the dazzling Wiener Trilogie – a fitting mix of Austrian cherry in the form of Zweigelt with two traditional French varietals: Caberent Sauvignon and Merlot.
Their Wiener Gemischter Satz is made however of the little-known Welschriesling varietal, a few handfuls of Sauvignon Blanc and some beefy Grüner Veltliner – Austria’s signature white varietal. They produce two single-vineyard wines and this one is made using grapes grown in both of them plus a few other locations close by.
The wine was very pale in colour, almost white with a peachy yellow tone which is very discreet.
The wine was very fragrant and carried a unique sense of spice that complimented the tropical fruit in the glass. It made me think of mango and peach but also with a healthy dollop of citrus too. There were intense floral notes that worked with the fruit, combined with some fresh black and green pepper.
The taste was big and combined all of the notes of the nose. First to hit was the citrus with long notes of lemon and lime but instead of becoming sour, they quickly opened up to visions of apricots and peaches with some lovely pink grapefruit too. Green apples certainly were to detect but so too was a thick aroma of black pepper with some earthy, almost woody body holding the whole thing together.
With a big finish and a long but sharp finish, this is a great wine with a little flirt at being unique. Just like the city from which it comes, this is a wine with a split personality – on the one side its hard and structured like a good German Riesling should be but on the other, nice and light and full of fruit offering easy-drinking – a refreshing combination that will accompany any summer evening spent on the balcony or in the garden. It fits, needless to say, extremely well with traditional Viennese cuisine - try is with a good veal schnitzel or Tafelspitz - a local specialty made of boiled beef.
-Sud de France
-Pinot Blanc (Weißburgunder)
-Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder)
-Pinot Meunier (Schwarzriesling)
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-Medium / off-dry
-Brut Zero/ Brut Nature
-Medium / off-dry