Simon SchubertWritten by Petra Gratzer-Weninger on the 8th of October 2019
After various job positions in Vienna’s top gastronomical scene (Palais Coburg, Mraz&Sohn), in 2018 Simon Schubert took on the responsibility for the wine list in the newly opened restaurant [ænd]. Named according to the phonetic spelling for “and”, [ænd] represents connection. The restaurant’s aim is to connect enjoyment and relaxation, host and guest, passion and enthusiasm. The latter two clearly shine through in Simon’s tasting notes for our Message in a Bottle. He intentionally described our wines during the tasting, exactly as he does for the restaurant. A few days ago, during a “respekt” self-contemplation visit to the restaurant, we had the pleasure of spending an exciting evening chatting to Simon. For these “self-contemplation” trips, us winemakers of the respekt-BIODYN group drive to the countryside for three days at the beginning of December for further internal development and exchange between colleagues. The highlight of this year was a tasting entitled “Tasting with Respekt - Individuality and Diversity”, facilitated by Simon Schubert, amongst others.
Tasting Notes by Simon Schubert
- Fehérburgundi 2016
In a Burgundy glass, this wine showed off its multi-facetted character best, displaying its unbelievable freshness and spice! I put my nose in the glass and feel as if I am in an alpine meadow in the summer, somewhere in the mountains, with field flowers, freshly cut grass and a bit of elderflower. After a strenuous climb, I enjoy a little snack: fresh fruit, pears, apples and an apricot. Then, an aluminium bottle full of ice cold mountain stream water! The first sip: relief! The acidity makes the wine so refreshing and youthful without coming across too sharp or overwhelming! Pears come to mind again: fruity but maybe not yet fully ripe – the tannin of the not-quite-ripe skins is grippy on the lips! A never-ending mouthfeel that makes me want to smack my lips. I did not spit while tasting this wine, instead I intuitively poured myself another glass straight away! What a wine!
- Rotburger 2017
Central Burgenland, Zweigelt... Ok, so it’s not necessarily the wine that I wanted to taste or even order – had it not been in the box that Franz left with me for tasting. But hello… what a surprise! I intuitively reached for a Burgundy glass again, poured the wine and waited in anticipation. I quickly checked again if this was indeed a Rotburger, but yes, it’s true, Zweigelt can also be like this! No unnecessary, stifling concentration, no overripe cherry jam which would be better suited for your breakfast toast than your wine glass. Instead, reserved, almost timid fruit! With this wine, the character comes from its spice! Fine, elegant sour cherries mingling playfully with pink peppercorns, delicate cloves and a touch of graphite! The first sip also doesn’t offer anything overripe, but rather outstanding freshness, elegant acidity skipping along the palate and bringing such lightness to the table that it is just pure joy!
This isn’t your one-dimensional, boozy bawl by Gabalier in the village disco, it’s The Nutcracker, the noble art of ballet, in the State Opera!
- Dürrau Blaufränkisch 2015
In my opinion, this is very clearly the flagship wine from Franz’s range and, year after year, probably one of the best representatives of this grape variety! When it comes to 2015, the alleged and oh-so-highly rated “vintage of the century”, I’m always a little skeptical. Unfortunately I have recently also tasted many, many wines which did not deal with the heat so well! I opened the wine and let it rest untouched in a decanter for a good hour and a half! Then, I carefully took a sip…What a monumental wine! Dark berries hit me with full force, the aroma of an extinguishing wood fire emanates from the glass and suddenly, somewhere one can detect the sizzling of a beautiful piece of meat waiting on the grill to be enjoyed with this wine! The palate clearly shows how young this wine still is and how many years still lie ahead! Great acidity and a wonderful freshness which is fantastic for this vintage… It’s exactly this acidity that also gives the wine a beautiful lightness, despite the concentration and depth! The tannins are still a little grippy, and that’s a good thing, because in order to make the most of this wine’s full potential, I would wait at least ten more years!
The Message in a Bottle is our wine subscription. Our aim here is to present to you an assortment of wines to enjoy, including interesting tasting notes from our guest authors. Our Winter 2018 Message in a Bottle is presented by Simon Schubert. He is the Sommelier of Vienna's [ænd] restaurant.