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Old 07-12-2009, 05:51 PM posted to
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Default [TN] Dinner at Spring

During a weekend in Chicago, Jean and I went out for dinner at one of
our favorite Chicago restaurants, Spring, with some friends. With a
fantastic dinner of assorted fish dishes, we had a couple of Austrian
wines from Spring's very well thought-out list:

2008 Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel "Terrassen"
nose: lightly green pea, pepper
palate: rich, full body, fruity, off-dry

This wine was served with our starters, which in my case was charred ahi
tuna sashimi with wild mushrooms and preserved vegetables. The dish was
fantastic but the wine was only a so-so match (not surprising).
Interestingly, this GV had a distinct off-dry character to it which also
gave it more body. I don't know what kind of year '08 is in the Wachau,
but this was an unusual showing for a familiar producer.

With our main courses, we got:

2007 Knoll Riesling Federspiel Loibner
nose: austere, slight petrol, limited fruit
palate: crisp acidity, intense minerality, very subdued fruit

Quite the contrast to the GV, Knoll's Riesling was all about austerity
and non-fruity flavors. Delicious and precise. We had chosen a sea
scallop/oxtail/wild mushroom dish and a "bouillabaise" special that
consisted of several fish and shellfish in a broth flavored with Spanish
chorizo. I couldn't convince my dining companions to go for a
lighter-bodied red (on balance, no tragedy, since the wine list wasn't
overflowing with those) so we chose this wine to stand up to the
flavors, which it did.

Fun night, great food, wine and company.

Mark Lipton
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:56 PM posted to
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Default Dinner at Spring

Thanks for notes. I was nodding along with your descriptors (pea,
check! pepper, check!) and then got to the off-dry, see you were as
surprised as I was!
Knoll sounds nice, though at least the Smaragd it has gotten
tremendously pricey, but this sounds so nice I might look for it

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