2015 Maurer Kadarka
Region: Sremska < Serbia
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming; pre-phylloxera vines (100 years+ old) on Danubian green sand soils; horses used to work vineyards, fermented in open vat then aged in big old oak casks for 12 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 0-20ppm added SO2; 10.8% ABV
Winemaker: Oszkár Maurer
Another Balkan gem, a lovely skin-contact Kadarka from Serbia. The Maurer family, originally from Salzburg, is now one of the only natural winemakers in Serbia. They’ve worked the vines here, on the Hungarian border in the region of Szabadka, for 4 generations. And their Kadarka vineyard, planted in 1880, is the oldest in the world -- no small feat, given that most producers have given up on this challenging-to-grow grape (tight clusters = susceptible to rot). Oszkár’s Kadarka is simple and refreshing, with bright acidity and tart fruit to cut through the fat of aperitvo snacks or Thanksgiving dinner. It tastes like a brisk fall day – tart pomegranate and blood orange with cloves, and barely-there tannins. Factor in the extremely low ABV (10.8%) and you’ve got the perfect holiday wine – without the post-party hangover. Serve slightly chilled.