2007 Hajszan "Gemischter Satz" Weissleiten
"Gemischter Satz" hits the New York Times!
Vienna's Traditional Field Blends on the World Stage
"My favorite gemischter satz is the 2007 Weissleiten from Stefan Hajszan, a gorgeous wine that is both delicate and intense." - Eric Asimov, New York Times, November 2nd, 2009
You have to give credit to the New York Times chief wine writer, Eric Asimov, for taking the wine drinking collective consciousness to new and fascinating places. Last week's article, about the traditional field blends of Vienna, is well worth reading - click here for article.
Yes, Vienna has vineyards - in fact, it's the only great urban center in Europe with a serious collection of vineyards (about 1,700 acres) and a local wine culture to boot. The "Gemischter Satz" may very well prove to be Vienna's calling card.
So today we've stocked up on the final cases of Asimov's favorite "Gemischter Satz." For the quality, not to mention the experience, the price is a joke: $18 for a biodynamic bottle of Viennese viticultural history. (How can you pass that up?)
But let's take a step back, let's start at the beginning. "Gemischter Satz" translates, more or less, to "mixed things." And this is exactly what "Gemischter Satz" are: a collection of various grapes, harvested and fermented together. The exact "recipes" will vary - these are, after all, field blends, and no two fields are exactly the same. Some Gemischter Satz may have up to 20 different grape varieties, some fewer than ten.
Gemischter Satz represent the great "melting pot" of the vinous world, Riesling growing up with Neuberger and Muller Thurgau, red wine grapes like Pinot Noir and Zweigelt together with the white wine grapes like Grüner Veltliner and Gewürztraminer.
This is important. To some extent the point of a "Gemischter Satz" is that chaos is sometimes more fascinating than the calculating hand of man, that as "noble" as a mono-variety wine may be, there is beauty, complexity...honesty...in a wine that speaks with many voices.
Stefan Hajszan is one of Vienna's rising wine stars. There is a seriousness here (and among a few other winemakers in Vienna) that transcends the fame and novelty of their region. These are not fascinating wines because they come from Vienna; they are fascinating wines that happen to come from Vienna. (Below, the vineyards of Vienna rise up on the horizon, on the left. In the foreground is the Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburgs; the Cathedral of St. Stephen is visible on the horizon, to the right.)
Hajszan's style, as Asimov alludes to, is not one of overt power of heft. Hajszan's wines have a lightness to them, a lift that gives them a great energy on the palate. The 2007 Gemischter Satz Weissleiten is a field blend of exactly 11 different grapes. Grüner Veltliner is perhaps most prevalent, but you'll also discover Riesling, Gewürztraminer and even some traditionally red wine grapes, like Zweigelt and Pinot Noir. (For the full list, see below.)
This is a wine to spend some time with; the patient will find a chorus line of different smells and tastes. There are definite notes of Grüner Veltliner, that tell tale dusting of pepper. Obviously, there is more: A voluminous nose with dried herbs, orange blossom, melon, quince, apple skins, apricot and a bright saline and mineral quality. On the palate the wine starts out light and lacy, tangy and lively. With time, however, the palate gains considerable presence, it begins to feel more full and slightly denser though not much heavier. Darker, riper citrus notes begin to emerge; the perfumes open up.
Complexity and a dash of chaos, all in a bottle.
Our doors first opened in the spring of 2005 - our first Gemischter Satz from Vienna was on the shelf in the fall of 2005. This is a genre of wine we've been supporting for some time and we're thrilled that it's finally getting the attention it deserves.
The final ten cases of the 2007 Hajszan are now in stock. To order, email us at email@example.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Crush Wine & Spirits
Hajszan's Gemischter Satz is composed of Grüner Veltliner, Welchriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Gelber Traminer, Gewürztraminer, Neuberger, Frühroter Veltliner, Zweigelt, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Muller Thurgau. You got that?
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