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MWG June 21st tasting: report (2/4)

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Located on the east shore of the Neusiedler See in eastern Austria (Burgenland), not far from the Hungarian border, the 55-hectare Meinklang estate is run by Werner and Angela Michlits. (The estate’s name is the German word Einklang – unison, harmony – prefixed with the first letter of the owners’ family name.) Not only is the operation organic and biodynamic, it is largely self-sufficient, growing its own grain for its beer and bread, hops for its beer, apples and other fruit for its ciders and juices, beef for weed control, fertilizer, sausages and the horns so important in biodynamic farming, and so on. This is another estate where the wines – all of which are vegan-compatible – are made in the vineyard, not the cellar.

Having tasted several Meinklang wines in earlier vintages, I was sure their purity and personality, their droiture and drinkability would be right up the MWG’s alley. However, I wasn’t expecting the unprecedented reaction that the four wines in the tasting elicited from the members in attendance – discussion during and after the event, tweets and a small flurry of emails and phone calls raving about them. If nothing else, it confirmed my impression that these are exceptionally enjoyable wines very much geared to the natural wine lover’s palate.

Grüner Veltliner 2011, Burgenland, Meinklang ($21.00, 12 bottles/case, La QV)
100% Grüner Veltliner. 11.5% ABV. Screwcapped. The 2010 vintage is currently available at the LCBO for $15.95.
Green pear and apple, grass, white pepper and eventually rosemary. Soft and minerally with underlying lime and acidity galore. Pure fruit. Clean and long. (Buy again? Definitely.)

Hárslevelü 2010, H9, Meinklang ($33.00, 6 bottles/case, La QV, available in September)
100% Hárslevelü from the estate’s Hungarian vineyards. 12.5% ABV if I recall correctly.
Fresh nose with hints of peach, honey and hay. Yellow apple on the palate. The rich texture and touch of residual sugar are cut by brightening acidity. Dancing mineral finish. Less tense and Riesling-like than the 2009 but every bit as delicious. (Buy again? Definitely.)

Grauburgunder 2010, Trocken, “Graupert”, Burgenland, Meinklang ($42.00, 6 bottles/case, La QV, available in September)
100% Grauburgunder (aka Pinot Gris) from vines that, as an experiment, have been left unpruned for several years (in the local dialect, graupert means wild and unkempt), drastically reducing yields. 13% ABV.
Intriguing and complex nose whose aromas included lychee, sweat and “dill pickle chips.” Rich and honeyed but also very dry and bracingly acidic. Turns savoury on the finish. Impressive breadth and depth, not to mention great length. After finishing the tail end he took home with him, one member (a Burgundy native at that) reported, “I’m sold!” (Buy again? Yes.)

Written by carswell

June 28, 2012 at 23:00

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  1. […] Cyril shared some good Meinklang news with us: the SAQ will be including their impressive “Graupert” Pinot Gris in its Opération vins oranges release this fall and will also be carrying their fine ancient […]

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