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14 January 2010

"Interesting" statistics no. 9: Austria et al

I got an email from those nice Austrian wine people today: "It’s almost eerie – the 9 series! The legendary Austrian “9er” vintages certainly live up to their reputation even in the new millennium. It began in 1959..." Apparently, so it goes on: 69, 79, 89, 99 and now 09 were all top vintages (so I'm told). Fascinating stuff, I hear you say. I can vouch for 1999, I've tried some excellent Austrian wines from that vintage from memory, dry and sweet whites and reds too (hopefully I'll find the time to rebuild the several pages and tons of wine reviews from a memorable trip I went on to Austria back in 2004 - click here for a couple of articles I penned for the wine trade press at least, and scroll down a bit). It was also a cracker in Hungary I believe, especially for Tokay (my in-depth wine touring feature from 2006 with more on Tokay vintages can be found HERE in "wine words" archive, and here too under "wotm" Hungary). But not very good at all in Bordeaux (rather charmless Médoc wines but better in St-Emilion from memory?), although much much better elsewhere in France, e.g. the South in general. Austere yet some exciting 99 Barolos and Barbarescos (see here and scroll down a good bit), and I think it was generally good in Spain too... 89 was pretty classic across much of Europe, and I'd have to check various guides for the other 9ers. What about California, Australia (I think so) etc? Although this is beginning to get a touch too dull already to be bothered trawling through old tasting notes and vintage reports... Anyway, looking forward to trying some Austrian 09s, which looks like a fab vintage elsewhere in Europe too.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.