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11 May 2012

Austria: Werner Michlits, Burgenland

Egg-shaped vats at Meinklang
The Michlits family - namely Anneliese, Werner, Johannes and Lukas - estate is a comforting back-to-nature flashback in time (apart from those splendidly quirky egg-shaped concrete vats - see photo - which have become the trendy thing to ferment your wine in apparently), as vines are just one of the 'foodstuffs' that receive their undivided biodynamic attention (and the fruit is turned into grape juice and wine). They also grow apples (and make apple juice, brandy and vinegar), cereals (transformed into beer) and sunflowers and rear cattle (you'll notice a bit of a cow/bull theme on their website and labels), pigs and horses too! The most planted grape varieties here are the red Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch, pretty typical of the warmer Burgenland region in eastern Austria, followed by other reds Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir) and St. Laurent plus a smidgen of 30+ year-old Cabernet Sauvignon, the region's oldest Cab I'm told.
On the white front, which I focused on tasting at this year's Millésime Bio wine show held in Montpellier a few months ago, they have Welschriesling (Laski Rizling, "Italian" Riesling or Graševina among other synonyms; but it's not Riesling Riesling the experts say), Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Grüner Veltliner and Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris). The farm, actually the most appropriate word, has been run organically since 1980 and is now Demeter registered. And, as if all of this wasn't enough to keep them busy, they have a small vineyard across the border in Somló, Hungary, hence the ever-so-familiar (not!), and rather delicious in fact, Juhfark varietal wine noted below; as well as more familiar, although much trickier to pronounce Hárslevelü. Like your style! More info, and a selection of nice little red and green cows doubling up as links, @ www.meinklang.at.

Meinklang Grüner Veltliner 2011 - aromatic and peppery nose, intense zingy green fruity mouth-feel with lively finish, nice refreshing style. €7.60 cellar door.
Graupert 2011 (Pinot Gris) - quite rich and honeyed countered by attractive spice tones, big mouthful with creamy oily texture/flavours vs crisp tight finish; good characterful stuff. €13.60
Juhfark 2010 - also lush textured with exotic fruit style, concentrated vs steely palate with lots of flavour and finish. Very good though dear at nearly €20 a bottle.
Weißburgunder Eiswein 2008 - complex dried fruits, honey and marmalade vs intense lively acidity, lush sweet dried fruit finish vs steely cut. Wow, lovely wine.


LOTS MORE AUSTRIA HERE (Pfaffl, Grüner Veltliner Galore, "I'll be back..." and other archive features) or see post below: Sepp Moser.

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