Last week was the annual tasting of Terry Theise’s Austrian and German wines, this time for the 2007 vintage. The event took place at Ame Restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel in downtown San Francisco. I’m excited about this vintage because it was cooler weather than 2006 which provided big voluptuous wines, only some of which retained sufficient acidity.  In 2007, the acid levels are classicly crisp, the wines more lean, and thus more to my taste.  Although Austria and Germany have the potential to be very different climatically, 2007 was a similar vintage for both countries. There were over 250 wines, and 15 winemakers present at Ame.  It is next to impossible to taste 250 wines and give each sufficient attention, not to mention the fact that some tables (Nikolaihof and Donnhoff) are always suffering from a bottleneck, so I tasted selectively. Among those, my favorites of the day were the Schloss Gobelsburg NV Brut Reserve which was elegant, rich and frothy. The Gobelsberg Gruner Veltliner “Lamm” was amazing! Full of mineral and lime and acid! Hiedler’s Gruner Veltliner “Loess” and “November” were both wonderful, but quite different from each other. The Loess is a lively and interesting representation of Gruner, very drinkable at the table with just about anything. The November (meaning the grapes weren’t harvested until November!) was thick, spicy, rich and intense, but completely balanced by a streak of acidity. The Jamek Gruner Ried Achleiten Smaragd was also spicy and rich and excellent. From Germany I liked the A.J. Adam Dhron Riesling Kabinett, brimming with apricot and lime and Mosel-ness and…acid! Reuscher-Haart blew me away, they had four wines — Piesporter Treppchen Riesling, Piesporter Goldtropchen Riesling Kabinett, Piesporter Goldtropchen Riesling Spatlese #15 and #12. I completely adored them all. The Spatlesen drank as though they were dry to me, refreshing, acid, complex. And they (for now) are priced well for the dinner table! Geil was another happy moment for me. everything was very appealingly restrained, giving nothing away to quickly, but making you ponder over the wines. And Leitz, who was able to make elegant, acid wines in 2006 making them one of my favorites, had set of gorgeous wines from 2007 as well. Between tables I wandered over to the buffet where the magic workers of Ame set out delightful little morsels to fill our tummies.

Bert Salomon of Undof-Salomon


Maria Angeles Hiedler of Weingut Hiedler


Stefan Rumpf of Kruger-Rumpf


Jakob Schneider of Weingut Schneider and Victor Diel of Schlossgut Diel


Eva Fricke of Leitz