Friday Night Flights 15 June 2018, Linz Edition (I)

I’ve been visiting the Department of Economics at the Johannes Kepler Universität in Linz, Austria this week.  I have known Rudolf Winter-Ebmer and René Böheim for a long time it’s been great to spend a little time in Linz.

And of course there is great wine in Austria!  More on that later and next week…

I asked René if he’d want to do a Friday Night Flights with me and he organized an amazing evening of wine with Linz friends and colleagues.    We’d been through three flights of two Austrian wines each (see below) before we got to the “Friday Night Flights” comparison.  As you can imagine, we were warmed up and in a good mood!  René was great about drinking everything blind and so the usual FNF conditions apply.  Let’s get to it!

Wine A

Our first wine (well, technically our 7th wine of the night, but…) has a beautiful deep ruby color. On the nose it’s got a mix of green pepper, tobacco, chocolate, plum, and spices.    It’s really great.

The palate has pronounced but well-integrated tannins and it’s clear that this is a wine that built for aging.  There’s tobacco, a bit of plum, some eucalyptus, perhaps some white pepper. The acid is in balance, but restrained.  Between the fruit and tannins, the wine has pronounced body.  There a lot of great things going on in the glass, and the finish is long and pleasant.

Wine B

Our second wine is also ruby, but a little lighter than the first wine.  On the nose it offers more vanilla than the tobacco of the first wine with spicy notes.  There are definite black fruit notes as well.  The nose here is great, but perhaps a bit less complex than Wine A.

On the palate, I get black cherries, blackberries, plums and again vanilla.  There’s very nice fruit here as well as decent acidity.  The tannins are a bit silkier than Wine A, but definitely present — another wine built for the bottle.  It’s full bodied and round in the month.   The finish is not quite as long as Wine A, but still great.

Since I brought these two wines (but don’t know which is which), I’m glad.  René has been so generous sharing his own wines both at this grandiose tasting, but also at dinner on Tuesday, and he’s been so enthusiastic about my new wine ventures, that I didn’t want these wines to disappoint.  They definitely didn’t and our group of five definitely enjoyed them.

So which of these is from Germany and which from elsewhere?