2018 Lichtenberger-Gonzalez Muschelkalk Weiss
Region: Landwein < Burgenland < Austria
Grapes: Grüner Veltliner, Weissburgunder, Welschriesling
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic/biodynamic farming; volcanic rocky limestone/schist soils; fermented and aged in large neutral oak casks; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 12.5% ABV.
Winemaker: Adriana González + Martin
Theirs is a classic winemaker love story: Austrian Martin Lichtenberger met the love of his life, Ariana Gonzalez, a Spanish winemaker, while both were interning at a California winery. Martin took her back in Austria, where the two honed their craft by making wines for renowned biodynamic producers Gernot Heinrich and Rosi Schuster, while developing their own vision for what was to become the new incarnation of Martin's parents' winery: Lichtenberger-Gonzalez. The estate is an alpine wonderland, with vineyards perched on the limestone hillsides of the Leithaberg mountains, on the northwestern edge of Lake Neusiedl. Here the couple work by hand, employing biodynamic principles as learned from their mentors, and do very little in the cellar. Ariana explains their philosophy: "We tend to take the long road and make our wines slowly and patiently by hand: the way wine has always been made. Spontaneous fermentation, in wooden barrels, a long time on the lees and minimal intervention. After all, nature knows best what it needs and doesn’t require any certificates to be itself. Just like us ;-)."
Their wines are incredible, authentic expressions of Austria, while also being super natural, very sound (clean as a whistle!), and so transparent, like a mirror into the soul (and soil) of these rocky hills. Which is precisely what makes this wine the perfect cold weather white. Bone dry, crispy green apples and crunchy pears, honeysuckle, vibrant acidity and so much rocky minerality. Its like drinking from a pristine alpine stream!