SWEET SPOT – DESSERT ALERT
This results in the shrivelling of the grapes and concentrating the juice and sending it into a sticky stratosphere of taste that approaches the sweet gates of heaven.
The Neusiedlersee Lake, about a half an hour by car south east from Vienna, partially straddling the Hungarian border, is one of the most unique spots, or micro-climates, on the face of the earth for producing phenomenal sweet dessert wines. The shallow lake, barely a meter deep, twenty eight kilometers long, surrounded by tall reeds at many places, is like a huge reflecting mirror. Its humidity mitigates the otherwise summer dryness. But come fall, nature takes a different tack. The humidity creates dense evening fogs that linger around until the morning sun can disperse them. The humidity is enhanced by many small ponds, intersperced by nature, throughout the vineyards on the eastern shore. At the same time, these conditions create the perfect environment for the development of the noble rot, a beneficial mould on the grapes called botrytis cinerea by the experts. This results in the shrivelling of the grapes and concentrating the juice and sending it into a sticky stratosphere of taste that approaches the sweet gates of heaven. Of course, the dramatic reduction in quantity is offset by a phenomenal increase in quality. Lenz Moser, key Austrian producer, has long term contracts with growers in the Burgenland region to deliver the finished wine, sometimes in less than 50 liters parcels which are then is blended into a cuvée to arrive at quantities large enough to bottle and ship all over the world. Welschriesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc are the main grapes.
This Beerenauslese quality category of wine garnered three international gold medals including a 95 point score from the 2019 International Wine & Spirit Competition held in the UK.
Enjoy an ounce or two on its own, or pair it with desserts such as crème caramel or with Austria’s golden gift to gastronomy, apple strudel.