2019 Maurer Orion Orange
Region: Sremska < Serbia
Grapes: Mézes Fehér
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming; pre-phylloxera vines (100 years+ old) on Danubian green sand soils; horses used to work vineyards, 20% botrytis, 1 week skin maceration then aged in large Hungarian oak; bottled unfined/unfiltered with <20ppm added SO2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Oszkár Maurer
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 -- because its a great place for vines to thrive naturally. Some 90 million years ago, the Fruška Gora mountain here was an island in the Pannonian sea. The slopes of this old formation made up of volcanic and sedimentary rocks have been covered with vineyards, orchards and forests for about 3000 years. So today, it's an almost intact natural environment with aa super rich ecosystem. Oszkár's best lots have been replanted with the old native grape varieties such as Kadarka, one of our favorites, and Mézes fehér (Honey White) featured here.
Mézes Fehér, literally 'honey white', is able to contract a ton of botrytis (a desirable infection that they call 'noble rot') without dropping acidity. The 2018 harvest had around 20% botrytis infection, then spent 7 days on the skins, with the tannins and chewy texture from the skin maceration providing a brilliant foil for the honied sweetness of the fruit. You get tons of soft stone fruit, orange, baking spice, black tea, honey and plenty of acid and tannins, making this an absolutely-goes-with-everything at the table kind of skin contact white. Such a cool wine, and tiny quantities - if you're an orange wine afficionado, this is a must-try.