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2020 Jurtschitch 'Mon Blanc'

2020 Jurtschitch 'Mon Blanc'

Region: Kamptal < Austria

Grapes: Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Weißburgunder, Gelber Muskateller, Donauriesling

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with biodynamic practices, mica schist and gneiss soils; 400m elevation; spends ten days on skins in open top red wine fermenters. The juice then goes into 600 L oak barrels; bottled with <10ppm SO2; 11.5% ABV; 500 cases

Winemaker: Alwin Jurtschitsch & Stefanie Hasselbach

NEW VINTAGE!  The family-owned Jurtschitsch winery, the oldest in the area (16th century!), has now been passed on to Alwin Jurtschitsch and his wife, Stefanie Hasselbach, a young couple who are leaders in the Kamptal’s natural wine movement. Alwin and Stef started working at the winery in 2006, converted all of the vineyards to organic viticulture, and from day one made wine in an old-school classic style, without any additions, aside from minimal sulfur at bottling. They are continually improving how they work: replanting more densely, using whey to treat for mildew instead of using copper sulphate, and working with new pruning methods. All the vineyards are certified organic and protecting biodiversity has always been a priority. Stef explains that, “The more life you have in the vineyard, the more stable the entire system is.” Wild life is abundant in the Jurtschitsch vineyards, with many fruit trees, grass, garlic, wildflowers and butterflies fluttering amongst the vines.  All of this is really rare in cold, wet Austria.

'Mon Blanc' is part of Jurtschitsch's special project wines that are vinified and bottled in small quantities every year since 2007, an experiment to see what full-on biodynamics can do in their particular climate.  It is a field blend of local white grapes, all from the Loiserberg vineyard, that are harvested together, fermented without temperature control in open top vats and left on the skins for two weeks.  Made super naturally, which we love, and it drinks very clean, with loads of character, which we also love.

While we wouldn't call this an aromatic wine on the same level of Gewurz or Moscato, it smells gorgeous, white flowers, melon and stone fruit jumping from the glass.  Same thing on the palate.  There's that ripe but racy fruit with energetic acidity and salty minerals, but also a lovely texture from the brief skin contact.  It's not enough to be in your face and scream "orange wine", but it elevates the experience and makes the wine seem deeper, thoughtful, contemplative.  A really excellent wine for the summer-to-fall transition, and exactly what we want to drink right now.

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