This is one of the brightest, freshest and engaging wines that we have ever found. Made in a way that enhances the natural acidity and texture in the grapes, it shows fruit flavours right at the front of the palate, in the middle of the palate and all the way onto a really long and focused finish, with a hint of kitchen spices. It is beautiful!
Made by Birgit Eichinger from grapes grown in the town of Strass, which is where Birgit's family home is situated, this traditional region of the Kamp Valley (which is the direct translation of Kamptal, not a Carry-On film set) sees the Grüner Veltliner planted in the village's vineyard areas that are made up of loess, gniess, sandstone and granite soils.
It is a fascinating wine, made by a fantastic wine maker, Birgit Eichinger. Stylistically as clear as a bell and as bright as a button, her wines are a supreme example of the balance between nature and humankind. Grown and harvested in the most unobtrusive of manners, the grapes are made into wines with a similar, hands-off approach. However! One has to handle the process at some stages, otherwise you'd end up with an unstable mess. The point of clarity here is that because the Kamptal has vineyards that are often shared among the top wineries (Birgit has parcels of vines next to Michael Moosbruger from Schloss Gobelsburg in Lamm, Gaisberg and Grub, for example), the differences in the final wines can appear to be vast.
So what's she doing differently?
It's a really small decision but one that has a huge affect on all of her wines: once the grapes are crushed and pressed, the juice has to settle in a tank before it is run-off to the fermentation vessels. That's all normal. What happens in the settling stage is that the heavy matter from the juice falls to the bottom of the tank and is separated from the rest of the juice (called 'must' in wine making terms). Again, all normal. What Birgit does is to spend up to a few hours longer than anyone else at this stage, ensuring that the must that goes to ferment is super-super-clean. However! There is oxygen in the air and this extra time in the tank can lead to the must oxidising, which turns it brown. What to do? Birgit knows... and the wine, after ferment, spends four months in its fine lees (the good bits of the grapes skins that don't fall to the bottom of the settling tank) and these suck out the brown colouring in the wine, therefore making it Vanish-Oxy-Action-white, clean and pure, but also stable and textured. It's all science, but just in balance, and a different balance to the wines of her neighbours. We think it's fascinating, in case you hadn't figured that out...
Grüner Veltliner is a brilliant grape variety that seems to be the perfect food matching wine. Textural and semi-aromatic, it often has flavours that are on the culinary spectrum, such as tarragon, sage, oregano and, most typically, white pepper. There are very classic Grüner Veltliners that sometimes present complex aromas as though they have been macerated with a bouquet garni...
Grape(s): Grüner Veltliner
Style: Vibrant, Pure, Mineral, Medium-Light, Juicy, Herbaceous, Fruity, Fresh, Elegant, Electric, Dry, Complex, Bright
Best food matches: Warm Salads, Tuna, Trout, Tapas, Sushi, Shellfish, Seafood, Scallops, Salads, Poultry, Pork, Lobster, Hard Cheeses, Charcuterie, Asparagus, Aperitif