The Wachau is certainly one of the most famous Austrian wine-growing regions. It is located west of Vienna between Krems and Melk on the banks of the Danube. The most important grape varieties, which are partly planted here in steep terraces, are Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. The wine that is in the glass this time comes from the Nikolaihof winery. Its foundations can be traced back almost 2000 years to Roman sites. Today, the Saahs family, which has owned the farm since 1894, grows grapes as close to nature as possible and is certified biodynamic. This means that herbicides, pesticides and the like are not used. And also in the cellar, the wine is given space and time to develop after spontaneous fermentation. We enter the range on the bottom end and drink a bottle of Zwickl from 2017. Actually, there are two wines in the entry: the Hefeabzug and the Zwickl. The wines are stored for half a year on the lees and then brought to the bottle with just this yeast without filtration in the case of the Zwickl, while the Hefeabzug is bottled without yeast. As indicated on the label, the bottle was shaken a little before pouring in each case.
This can clearly be smelled. Such a clear aroma of yeast dough is quite rare. With air, the intensity of the yeast note then recedes quite quickly. What then remains is slightly tonic, fresh and floral. In addition, minimal citrus fruit can be smelled. On the tongue, the Ziwckl is crisp and creamy at the same time. Here is then also more citrus, bergamot, some lemonade without sugar and then out the back a lot of structure. This is unusual and super interesting and at the latest now you start to be sad that there is no bottle of Hefeabzug next to it. I like the wine.
The refrigerator cold after one night, however, does not like the Zwickl at all. The Veltliner definitely needs a few degrees more to really get going. But then it is just as beautiful as on the first evening. There are herbs, lemon balm, garrigue honey and further the lemonade. The real magic happens on the tongue, though. This blend of the yeasty creaminess, the citrus and the acidity to it already brings a lot of fun to the glass. The wine is light and has a lot of substance at the same time.
Still, it remains to be said that something is missing. Not to the wine, but to me. But that’s what you get when bottles find their way into the cellar without sufficient research. Next time however there will be most certainly a bottle of Hefeabzug next to the Zwickl.
- Johannes Zillinger - Velue 2019
- Werlitsch - Sauvignon Blanc Vom Opok 2018
- Heinrich - Chardonnay Leithaberg 2014