Can you feel it? It is getting warmer, the sun has started to gain in strength, the birds to sing their love songs and the flowers start to impress with their colours. The sun is staying longer and takes over from night earlier every day. And springtime freshness calls for a refreshing wine!
This month, therefore, I will introduce you into a beautiful, fresh and flowery white grape variety called Pinot Blanc. This grape variety is grown in most of the north European countries and goes by different names depending on country:
Italy: Pinot Bianco
Germany: Weissburgunder or Klevner
Austria: Weissburgunder or Klevner
France: Pinot Blanc or Clevner
The grape variety is low in acidity and therefore it is grown in cooler climate regions and countries to keep the ripeness low and keep the acidity. In warmer climates the grape can easily become overripe and lose its freshness. Still, sparkling and sweet wines are all produced with this grape – mostly blended with other grapes. The Pinot Blanc can actually legally be used in Champagne production,. However, consumers should be aware when choosing a Pinot Blanc from Alsace that a bottle labelled Pinot Blanc can actually be a blend of this grape variety. (Mostly this will be a blend with Auxerrois.)
This grape variety is, together with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, part of a family of the Burgundian (Pinot) varieties. This month we are going to take a look at Weissburgunder from Austria . Most of us think of Austria as a mountainous country with snow and perhaps a Lederhosen or two, but only some know that in that country they produce delicious whites, reds, sweet, as well as sparkling wines like Sekt.
The main white grape grown in this country is Grüner Veltliner or Riesling and the Weissburgunder counts for only about 4,1% of the total growing in Austria. It produces full bodied and fruity but dry white wines, mostly used for blends. It is also quite low in production. However, I think that this grape has a lot of potential as well as beautiful fruit and flower tones, no matter in which country it s grown. In general it is medium to full bodied, with a low or elegant acidity, which makes it a perfect spring wine and a beautiful accompaniment to grilled fish dishes or cheese like Camenbert, Brie, or Langhre. If the wine is oak barrel aged, it can easily have some nutty flavours – but this can also be very pleasant. The wine I have chosen for the month is not oak barrel aged and has therefore retained all its acidity.
Name: Weissburgunder 2012
Grape Variety: Weissburgunder
Producer: Weingut Regele
Region: South Styria, Austria
Alcohol: 12% ABV
Aging: Stainless steel
Importers: Haugen-Gruppen AB
Price: 90,- SEK, Beställningssortiment
Tasting note: The colour is yellowish like a light white wine, the nose is full flavoured but closed to the fruit, with aromas of a flower bouquet, young apricots and a bit of honey. In the mouth it feels fresh with very nice pearls on the tongue; it is medium bodied and full of fruits like green apples, pear and grapefruit. The finish is 7 seconds and fruity pleasant, the perfect temperature is about 11 degrees celsius.
This is a great spring wine where the acidity and therefore the freshness keeps you in a positive and happy mood, perfect for the spring time. Roll on Summer!
Matthias is a sommelier and has spent the last few years traveling around the globe, working in 5 star hotels and Michelin star restaurants. He is passionate about what impact wine has on both food and culture.