Another wine from the clay bottle? Didn’t we just have that recently? Anyway, this time it’s not a rosé and not even the country of origin matches. Weingut Heinrich produces its wines around Lake Neusiedl in Austria. They work ecologically and put a lot of focus into living soil. The underlying idea of the winery is that a living soil, enlivened by micro-organisms, is particularly good at passing on its terroir to the vines and is also good for the entire ecosystem around the vines. This means a lot of manual labour in the vineyard. In the cellar, on the other hand, there is as little intervention as possible, everything is fermented spontaneously and the wine is left on its mash for longer periods. Then the wines are allowed to rest on their lees until they are ready. The Muscat Freyheit from 2017 is made from Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Blanc and a little Chardonnay, it had a 14-day mash-maceration and was then matured on the lees for 8 months in used wood. Filling was done without filtration and also without added sulphur.
It starts with a little acetic acid, some glue and stable muff. Sounds funny, but it’s quite exciting and it won’t last long anyway, because then the full force of passion fruit hits you right in the olfactory centre. Grapefruit comes along, floral notes come along and both the acetic acid and the glue disappear. What remains is some idea of agriculture underneath the fruit. For a while it smells like lemon-flavoured calcium tablets, there is fruit on the tongue as well as in the nose, and a little tannin on top. All this doesn’t really fit into what I usually like at all, but I am somehow fascinated.
This mixture of exotic fruit and a bit of rustic down-to-earthness stays that way the rest of the evening and keeps us more than happy with its complexity and tension.
After a night in the fridge everything comes together even more, the passion fruit remains, but now spicy, earthy notes are added. At the same time, the wine now has much more structure on the palate, almost a bit drying on the cheeks, but the nice fresh acidity knows how to prevent this. Compared to the previous day it feels more velvety, but without getting really creamy. A very deep, complex wine, which hits you with its fruit but then has much more to offer afterwards. An intense experience.
- Heinrich - Chardonnay Leithaberg 2014
- Christian Tschida - Himmel auf Erden II 2017
- Three Bottles In den Zehn Morgen