Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Slow mo’ Somló

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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 noun Einklang – unison, harmony – prefixed with the first letter of the owners’ family name.) The estate also has a vineyard in Somló on the Hungarian side of the border (you can see pictures of the area, the vineyard and the owner-manager in this short video in German and English with Hungarian subtitles).

The Michlits could be poster kids for the slow food/wine movement. Not only is the estate organic and biodynamic, it is largely self-sufficient, growing the grain for its beer, bread and animal feed, the hops for its beer, the apples and other fruit for its ciders and juices, the beef for weed control, fertilizer, sausages and horns so important in biodynamic farming, and so on. The wine- and beer-making is non-interventionist and uses indigenous yeasts.

Meinklang’s wines have been favourites of the Mo’ Wine Group since our first encounters with them. In fact, Meinklang is among the small group of producers whose wines we buy automatically, even without tasting them first. That was the case last fall with the new-to-us entry-level Somló white. And, true to form, it didn’t disappoint.

Somló 2013, Meinklang ($24.65, private import, 12 bottles/case)
A blend of organically and biodynamically farmed Hárslevelü (50%), Juhfark (20%), Olaszrizling (25%) and Furmint (5%) grown at the base of the Somlo volcano in southwest Hungary, not far from the Austrian border. The region’s balsat is weathered and topped with loess and light sand deposits, producing a fertile soil. Screwcapped. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV.
Peach, pineapple, grass and straw, basalt dust and hints of honey and white flowers. Intense even a little fiery in the mouth. The unctuous texture is shredded to ribbons by razor-sharp acidity. The ripe stone fruit barely holds it own against the crushing minerality. The peppery (white and paprika), savoury (sour and bitter) finish goes on and on. Such presence and character! Lovely as an aperitif but has the wherewithal to stand up to Hungary’s robust cuisine. Why is this not on the SAQ’s shelves? (Buy again? Moot – the 2013 is NLA – but multiples of the 2014 for sure.)

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Written by carswell

February 14, 2015 at 10:50

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