2017 Johannes Zillinger St. Laurent 'Reflexion'
Region: Niederösterreich < Austria
Grapes: St. Laurent
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Demeter certified biodynamic farming; 97-year-old vineyard on loess and lime sandstone soils; fermentation occurs in open vats, with slow and gentle pressing, followed by 18 months in used acacia and oak barrels (no new oak); bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero added So2; 333 cases; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Johannes Zillinger
Johannes Zillinger learned early on from his father about the importance of organic winemaking, about viewing the vineyard as a habitat and protecting the environment instead of poisoning it. His father Hans turned to organic viticulture in 1983, two years before the Austrian Anti-freeze Scandal, and was one of its pioneers in Austria. When Johannes took over the 350-year-old winery in 2013, he transitioned to biodynamic farming in a big way -- he even grows his own herbs for tea tinctures to use as treatments. So, what the hell is Saint Laurent? Good question. No one really knows. At one point it was thought to have a Pinot Noir parent. But recently, that theory was disproved. Oh well. All you need to know is how freaking delicious it is. Aromatic with a Pinot Noir-like florality (roses!), there’s also an alluring spicy tomato character and red berry lushness. Mouth-filling texture but medium-bodied, it’s soft enough for fans of New World Pinot, but earthy and structured for Old World fans.