Oenophilia – An obsessive disorder or just a way of life?

Swirl, Sniff, and Spit with your friend, Patrick

Wine Blogging Wednesday #45 – TBA is King!

Mmmm-Mmmm! There is nothing like Sweet and Sticky when it is done right. Trockenbeerenauslese – literally, a wine made from the harvest of selected dried berries – is regarded as the highest quality category of Austrian wines. This Wine Blogging Wednesday, Tim Elliott of WineCast presented the category of “Old World Riesling” and I rejoiced. I love Riesling. To me, it is the most noble of the noble grape varieties. And even better, I don’t make one. This gives me a chance to track down something yummy from one of my favorite winemongers, Domaine 547. There, Budo-Kun pointed me to a “TBA” made from botrytized Riesling by one of the foremost unsung heroes in Austria.

Pots of Gold at Either End

Weingut Franz Heiss is located on the eastern shores of the Neuseidersee in the Burgenland region of Austria. Long famous in the town of Illmitz for producing “Liquid Gold”, Heiss agrees with those of us in the wine world who hail Riesling as King. Even though it is his favorite grape, he makes very little. Only a small portion of his 500 cases of several different sweet wines became his 2001 Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling.

I put Malia to bed and popped the cork on my bottle. She’s only five, but one whiff of this beauty and I know she’d be pestering me for a tiny sip! I did share with She Who Must Be Obeyed. I’m not THAT stupid. However, I sequestered myself in the dining room so as to not be influenced by my wife’s superhuman palate.

Wow! Liquid Gold is right. If the miller’s daughter had a bottle of this to give the king, Rumplestiltskin would have had no deal! Beautiful inviting color that can be best described as… Liquid Gold. Aromas more of Vaseline than petroleum, apricot, pear, sour apple, lilies, pomegranate, peat smoke, and chanterelles sauteeing in butter. The wine entered my mouth with a rich viscosity. Its unparalleled sweetness on the tip of the tongue played against bright acids along the sides and spicy pepper across the top. Heiss often ages stickies for a year in Acacia wood barrels, not clumsy White Oak, to bring out the floral and savory flavors that distinguish Austrian Riesling. I found flavors of honey, grilled peach, cantaloupe, toasted almonds prosciutto, and Seville orange marmalade. Finally a quick flash of spice and white pepper on the finish before a perfect balance of acid and sweetness love you long time!

I didn’t plan ahead and the Gorgonzola we had in the house was too mild and was lost to the flavors of the wine. On a whim, I brought out my spicy pralines and the Heiss TBA Riesling was actually sweet and savory enough to handle both the brown sugar candy and the liberal pinches of cayenne. As it is now 1:09 am and officially Wine Blogging Wednesday, I’m going to bed. Hmmmm, Riesling and Rice Crispies in the morning?


  Taster B wrote @

Wow, very persuasive write up! We’ll have to come by and get you to pour us a sip next time we’re out that way. 🙂

  twelliott wrote @

Great post, Patrick! Thanks for cracking open the first TBA of WBW 45.



  Jill wrote @

Your descriptions are really detailed and evocative, I can almost taste the wine again just from reading your post. Thanks for picking this up from d547! I should note that we actually got this through the Austrian importer Winemonger, which has some fantastic small production gems in their stable of wines. I liked pretty much everything I tasted from them, but this was near the top!

  Dale Cruse wrote @

Sounds like you had as much fun with your Riesling as I did on this Wine Blogging Wednesday!

  udlot wrote @

yeah! thats awsome!! i like it! loansrestructuring

  swirlingnotions wrote @

Love it! I’ve never heard of Acacia barrels . . . wild.

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