2020 Herrenhof Lamprecht 'Pinot Blanc Sand & Kalk'
Region: Vulkanland > Austria
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: certified organic farming, soils are sand, limy sandstone, silt, opok, steep south-southeast facing slope, 12-36 hours skin contact, fermentation in 600 liter oak barrels from the local forest, aged 1 year on the lees, unfiltered, less than 10ppm SO2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Gottfried Herrenhof
Gottfried Herrenhof is one of those winemaking geniuses whose methods defy logic yet yield unexpectedly delicious results. He calls his philosophy ‘freestyle wine growing’ and follows his own self-imposed charter, which veers sharply from his education studying horticulture at university.
Luckily he started with a clean slate on the family land, which was previously the Vorau Abby and owned by monks. The Lamprechts, caretakers for the land since post-feudal times in the late 1800s, knew that vines had previously been planted on the property however none existed in 2006 when Gottfried first got started. This enabled him to meticulously plan out his planting, block by block, to incorporate over 100 varieties of grapes. Yes, 100. Instead of the currently popular mono-varietals, he decided to focus on the field blends that would have been made at the time the monks owned the land. He also made barrels for aging the wine from the trees in their forest - talk about closed loop, carbon-neutral winemaking! He also makes a couple of single varietals that he has found do particularly well in the sand and gravel soil, like the Weissburgnder (Pinot Blanc) here. According to Gottfried, it is the ‘entry drug’ and we could agree more.
Seductively fresh Pinot Blanc with orange zest, honeysuckle flowers, and lemongrass and a luscious texture from the bit of skin contact that we greet us like a big soft hug. He manages to coax an intense amount of flavor out a relatively neutral grape, and we think it could go with anything from a bitter green salad with winter citrus to roasted chicken, pork tenderloin or seared scallops. This could easily be our everyday white! Because it has a nice, round body and prominent fruit, it also works as a Chardonnay alternative for those seeking a white with a bit more meat on the bones.