Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Schmidt Vinothek - (Hong Kong)

 Schmidt Vinothek is essentially Germanistic in nature,  as their affiliated companies in Hong Kong are originally importers of German electronic goods into the Asia-Pacific region.   The fairly newly opened Schmidt Vinothek shop focuses predominantly on the better wines from Germany and also those from surrounding Austria and Switzerland regions.   To me personally the Hong Kong wine market has be overly saturated with similar styles of wines day-in and day-out,  that are almost too customer driven by demand.   The difference between those shops and here is that Schmidt Vinothek is importing a more comprehensive range and much rarer wines from this specific wine region.   You could call it a niche market.   To me it’s like ending a long drought,  as wine lovers shall all rejoice as we will be on the better receiving end of more and more regional wine offerings that previously just didn’t really catch on locally. 



German and Austrian Wine tasting tonight -
At their Quarry Bay shop.   They also have a good selection of Switzerland wines on the shelves but we didn’t get to try those tonight.



Some Breads and Cheeses -
I didn’t touch the cheese initially as it does taint your senses,  although I was so starving by that point like a mouse deprived!    The bread,  I only started eating with the bolder Red Wines in case the yeastiness also wreaks havoc on the senses.


Vinothek – similar to Enoteca in Italian meaning
It means a quality Wine Shop.   Here it certainly gave off the same vibe and environmental design..


2009 Schloss Proschwitz,  Riesling Sekt Brut,  Sachsen,  Germany  -  HKD $385
A dry Riesling sparkling wine,  initially this was crispy Green apple and also Grapey,  with a distinct Grapefruit rind in the background.   A balanced limestone minerality surfaced later..   Finished off just like a Champagne undergoing 2nd Fermentation and with 18 months yeast exposure.   Apparently this had a bready-brioche note but I couldn’t detect it,  though it was quite refreshing. 


2009 Stigler,  Riesling Trocken F36,  Ihringen Winklerberg, 
“Grosses Gewachs”,   VDP Baden,  Germany – $510

The GG status means this is a grand wine by definition and all hand-picked,  under the German Government VDP system.   It was said that this was picked by the Royal Princess to be her favourite wine of the year.   Initially dry and lemon rind dominated and with new oak,  when this opened up at the right temperature,  it had a sweet green melon aroma and a hint of banana and stewed pineapple and a stony volcanic minerality.  This was a very interesting wine because it was quite ripe Melon on the nose,   had the mildest petroleum note with liquid paper which disappears before it’s manifested,   but once in the mouth  it was quite lemon acidic again.   Talk about a big contrast.  Very lovely wine and quite a few people’s PICK OF THE NIGHT.  




2010 Skoff Original,  Sauvignon Blanc “Royal”,  Sudsteiermark, Austria – $500
Initially on the nose  this was totally Chestnut-paste like and although some agreed with my detection,  but guess what WSET doesn’t really have this term as a description especially for a Sauvignon,
  which is why I like the Coffee World better as it’s also systematic but less restrictive with descriptive terms,  as long as it is true.   There was also a presence of slightly toasty French oak and what I called fake woody American-Vanilla (unlike true Vanilla beans),  and mild tropical fruits.   This was quite balanced and enjoyable but the above ‘Princess-selected’ wine stole the show with it’s complexity as it opened up.. 


2011 Meyer-Nakel,  Spatburgunder “S” Trocken,  VDP Ahr,  Germany – $650
Burgunder almost sounds like Burgundy and yes it is a Pinot Noir grape but made in Germany in Ahr,  a South facing-slope in the North.   This to me was more fruit driven with black berries,  cherry and black currant,  but with a lovable Foresty note with some Black ashy slate and Spice.   Red Pepper arrived later and somehow it developed into pickled umeboshi.   Quite likable..

2009 J.Heinrich,  Terra O. Trocken,  Mittelburgenland,  Austria – $580
Local Blaufrankisch grapes blended with Cab Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah,  this was decanted for 2 hours prior to serving.  Black fruits and Violet,  hint of Truffle and slightly Minty-Peppery,  this tasted like it was grown in warmer climate and also Super-Tuscany like in style with the blending.   An interesting offering from Austria and a crowd pleaser!    Good value for money too..

1989 Domdechant Werner,  Riesling “Trockenbeerenauslese“,  Hochheimer, 
VDP Rheingau,  Germany – $3,900
Hand-picked Botrytis-rot Riesling grapes,  the TBAs are highly sought after in the Wine Auction world.   The amount of acidity within makes them age very well and this 1989 vintage was still so fresh,  but the residual sugar is also high and it’s rich and minerally,  with an initial whiff of Chrysanthemum tea,  followed by a mouth feel of Marmalade and dried Sultanas flavour.  Very amazing wine and the trocken term is kind of confusing as it usually means drier wines,  but in this case it means dried berries.


They also offer Ice-Wine made from Merlot here -
This is very limited as Merlot aren’t too resistant to cold frosts,  but at the same time an Ice-Wine requires it to be suddenly frozen up in the middle of the morning to be picked -  it really depends on the call of nature really?   Hence this isn’t made every year.  For the last decades,  the average harvest is only around 2-3 vintages for every single decade.   This isn’t normally exported but the wine buyers from Schmidt Vinothek convinced the Wine Maker to give them some of these rarer to find items.  



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVery Interesting Wine Shop and Cellar -
One can gain a wealth of knowledge just coming past here and tasting some wines, and buying some bottles home to know that German wines aren’t always about Sweet Wines…  Particularly when some of the best Grand Cru wines coming from the region are of the Drier Style these days.  Not to mention also the other Austrian and Swiss local regional wines being offered here.   Welcome to Hong Kong,  Schmidt Vinothek!   Show us some real International wines finally…




Price:   As Mentioned Above by bottles.  Call up for their Wine Tasting sessions before your purchase.
Ease of Access:  4/5

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sat -  11:00am to 20:00pm
Sun - 11:00am - 18:00pm

Address:  鰂魚涌海灣街濱海大廈地下A1號舖
Shop A1, Ground Floor, Riviera Mansion
2A Hoi Wan Street, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
Ph: (852) 2327 9818

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