Fun Pét-Nat From One of My Favorite Austrian Producers

Today’s Story: Weingut Werlitsch

Weingut Werlitsch is a relatively small family-owned and operated wine estate and farm located in southern Styria in Austria. Viticulture and winemaking are spearheaded by Ewald Tscheppe, who took over this family property at the age of 26. Though the Tscheppe family had been involved in winemaking and farming for generations, Ewald is part of a newer generation making exciting, complex, and long-lived wines while advocating for biodynamic viticulture and minimally invasive winemaking.

The estate consists of about 18 hectares (44 acres) with roughly 12.5 hectares (31 acres) planted to vineyards and the balance dedicated to the winery, forests, pastures, and gardens. Weingut Werlitsch is certified biodynamic, and practically all of the vineyard work is done by hand thanks to the very steep slopes that make up the property. The vineyards are planted predominantly to Sauvignon Blanc and Morillon (a biotype of Chardonnay), though Ewald also grows Welschriesling. All fruit is hand-harvested, experiences slow pressing, and goes through fermentation only with native yeasts. Élevage is in large barrels and Austrian foudres, and the wines typically age for a minimum of 18 months but may see as long as 36 months. Bottling is accomplished with the wines unfiltered, and no SO2 is added unless absolutely necessary.

I previously wrote about the 2017 Glück2017 Ex Vero I2017 Freude, and 2018 Welschriesling vom Opok from Weingut Werlitsch. Feel free to revisit those notes to get a better feel for their portfolio!

Today’s Wine: 2017 Ex Vero III S

Blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc; 13% ABV

The 2017 Ex Vero III S is pale gold in color. The effervescence is very delicate and dissipates rather quickly. Aromas are of medium (+) intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of yellow apple, fresh pear, peach, honeysuckle, popcorn kernel, finely crushed rock, smoke, oyster shell, saline, and brioche. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium (+) intensity and the palate offers up notes of lemon zest, yellow apple, grapefruit, dried pineapple, lemongrass, SweeTarts candy, sea salt mineral, and crushed stone. This dry white blend is medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, and a medium length finish.

Price: $60. While this is very good and is a fun wine, the value proposition at this price-point seems a little stretched. The intensity, balance, and complexity are great, though I do wish the finish lingered a bit longer. That being said, I’d probably buy this again on an enjoyment basis rather than a value basis.

Though I’ve been including links in my posts recently for where to purchase the wines, this is an incredibly rare bottling and doesn’t have much of an online presence. It’s just one of those wines to be lucky to stumble across in the wild.

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