Angular with notes of orange peel, lemon, honey, hot stone and pleasant smoky aromas. The Stravinsky of the Austrian Riesling? Open ahead of time if you drink it now. I myself put some aside to revisit 5-8 years from now as it needs time to show all of its subtle nuances. Spectacular.
Medium yellow. Medium-intensity nose of green apple and hay. Medium-bodied, tastes of Granny Smith apples and lemon zest, with high acidity. Refreshing and versatile food wine. Drink right away.
Josephine is an unconventional woman of the more mature generation, Timotheus’s second wife and Winifred’s stepmother. This is a blend of 35-year-old, lower south facing gravel-sloping Blaufränkish and Roesler, fermented in used 500, 1,000 and 1,500 litre barrels before 8 months' quiet rest in 500 litre barrels. The wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered and with zero addition of sulfur. Deeper hued and darker fruited, with brooding mulberry, sweet cassis, spicing and cracked cloves. Though the palate is mouthfilling, it has a lift and impression of brightness. There is some forest floor and earthy funk lingering beneath the berry fruit. Tannins are fine, firm and secondary. Contemplative and serious, while easy to drink.
Gut Oggau is one of the exciting darlings of the natural wine movement. Based in the small town of Oggau in Burgenland, Austria, the project was started by Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe in 2007. The couple took over a 17th century winery that had been abandoned for 20 years, renovated it (including its 200-year-old screw press) and renewed the vineyards, which had benefitted from two decades of a chemical-free life. They practice biodynamically and are Demeter certified. Each of their small-lot wines have a distinct personality, so they've come up with an entire family tree of intertwining stories and characters, faced with striking label sketches by local artist Jung von Matt. The labels depict the human face of each wine and, remarkably, each ages and matures with each vintage. Atanasius is one of the children, a generation of wines meant to be lighter, fun and fresh. His is a blend of gravels and limestone, single plot and field blend 35-year-old Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch, fermented in large-format old wood where it remained on skins for 3 weeks. Post ferment, the wine stays in the same vessels for 1 year with no sulphur until bottling unfined and unfiltered. Tight herbal raspberry, plum, blackcurrants on a finely dusty palate, lined with worn leather and housed with light gritty tannins. There's a perfumed wild raspberry that clings onto the drying finish. Honest, chillable, chuggable.
This juicy Blaufränkisch was fermented in stainless and matured in old, large format barrels on lees for 6 months before bottling. Black raspberry, red currants and black cherry are sharpened with cranberry acidity and weighted with balsamic. At once both juicy and chiselled, the acidity here wins out, driving this compact, tight red to a pointed, astringent finish.
Full-bodied, this Grüner sings with peach, grapefruit, sweet apple, honey and banana aromas. Much of the same is found on the palate where it is joined by green notes, minerality and spice. Echoes long. Drink or hold.