Attention! Achtung!

Weingut Loimer - Muskateller mit Achtung!

 

When you are a winemaker of high stature, like Fred Loimer, it takes a lot of gumption to risk making a wine that is all about time and tension – a wine made without modern winemaking techniques and with high probability of failure. This is, however, what Loimer did and this is that wine … it’s a rousing success and is enchanting to enjoy. Also, it makes me say that I’m glad to be alive.

 

Quick Tidbits

 

  • All Biodynamic Farming Practices.
  • Barrel fermented on the skins. (AKA Orange Wine)
  • Very small and limited production.

 

About the Winery

 

Loimer is famous for making some of the best Gruner Veltliner in Austria. Fred came back to the winery in 1988 and began to make changes almost immediately. He helmed the move to Biodynamic Farming and also oversaw a modernization in the cellar but, now after 30 years behind the wheel, he’s started to experiment with more traditional styles of making wine. Experiment might be the wrong word here … more like he’s just letting the wines make themselves. The grapes are handpicked and then put into a large old oak barrels for fermentation where the juice sits with the skins for four weeks. Seven more months in another old barrel to round itself out and then into the bottle. Pretty simple but the results are anything but simple.

 

What It Tastes Like

 

Muskateller is one of my favorite grapes of all time. With all the exotic spice aromas and that heady, shameless, Lychee fruit … it’s just one of those wines that I love to live in the smell of. This one, however, adds in a dash of apricot and nuttiness to the mix too. Usually I have to remind people that wines like this can fool you: it smells like it’s going to be sweet as all get out … and while this wine operates and feels not-sweet in the mouth, there is some slight sugar here and I’m convinced that if I didn’t mention it that you might have never been able to tell it had any discernible sugar to it at all. In the mouth; it’s full on grippy (that comes from the tannin in the skins) but also light bodied and refreshing. The lychee and apricot follow into the flavors here too. The wine is successful at taking the tannin from a red wine and pairing it with the high-tone aromatic of a white. It is in that delicate balance between all its disparate that the wine shines: The nuttiness works with the heady fruit; the tannin works with the sugar. All of them combine to a wine that I love and I’m glad that wines like this exist. It pushes the boundaries of what I know and expands my own horizons beyond the normal. At the same time this wine is telling me, clearly, to pay attention. The wine does make me glad to be alive. Achtung Baby Indeed!

PS – buy a bottle of this wine and put on U2’s Achtung Baby. Turn the volume up on the first track, Zoo Station. This wine, Fred Loimer’s philosophy on his wines (“If we have one helping hand in the cellar,” says Fred, “it’s time.”), and the song echo one another nicely.

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