Jurtschitsch Sonnhof Gruner Veltliner Belle Naturelle 2018
This clean, dry white is made on terraced vineyards in Langenlois, Austria, with a gneiss and granite terroir. Macerated for ten days on skins in open top fermenters, then the free run juice is racked into 600L neutral oak. Bottled unfiltered and unfined with no sulfites at bottling nor at crush. Owner/winemaker Alwin Jurtschitsch calls the unadorned Belle Naturelle, 'a wine in its birthday suit.' Note: Naturally hazy. Turn gently before opening, do not store above 20°C.
Over the past generation, Weingut Jurtschitsch has become one of the most prominent wineries in Austria. Having previously been run by the three brothers Edwin, Paul and Karl Jurtschitsch, the family-owned winery has now been passed on to the younger generation, Alwin Jurtschitsch and his wife, Stefanie Hasselbach (of Gunderloch fame in the Rheinhessen).
Alwin and Stef are leaders in the natural wine movement in the Kamptal. It’s a unique story because they happen to have the oldest winery in the area, dating back to the sixteenth century. When Alwin and Stef started working at the winery in 2006, they insisted with Alwin’s father and uncles on converting all the vineyards to organic viticulture. In the vineyards, they are continually trying to improve how they work: they are replanting more densely, and one current trial is using whey exclusively in certain vineyards to treat for mildew instead of using copper sulphate, and they are also working with new pruning methods. All the vineyards are certified organic and protecting biodiversity has always been a priority. Jurtschitsch explains, “The more life you have in the vineyard, the more stable the entire system is.” In their vineyards, you find fruit trees, grass, garlic, wildflowers and butterflies.
In February 2016, David Schildknecht described the Jurtschitsch wines as “strikingly delicious, complex, and compulsively drinkable.” Jurtschitsch is going for a classic style of Kamptal wines, but more like an old-style of classic. Stefanie Jurtschitsch manages the winemaking and she is making wines which let the vineyards and soils speak for themselves. They only use spontaneous fermentations and work without any additions, aside from minimal sulfur. The entry-level wines are made in stainless steel, but all the single vineyard Erste Lagen wines are aged in large oak foudres. The wines shine in multi-faceted elegance, offering drinking pleasure at highest level without being baroque and heavy.
|Region||Austria, Niederösterreich, Kamptal|