Gruner Veltliner Qvevre (Amphorae), Ott
Qvevre is made from a selection of Grüner Veltliner from one of Bernhard Ott’s top sites called Rosenberg (löss soils.) The grapes are destemmed, gravity pressed, and transferred into 500 to 2000 liter clay qvevre from Georgia. Fermentation is spontaneous and slow (lasting several months) as the juice, seeds, and skins comingle. After the full fermentation ends, the qvevre is sealed with a mixture of mud and clay. It is then left to age for upwards of 8 months.
David Schildknecht of Vinous Media: 95pts, “Chartreuse-like floral and herbal essences as well as decadent, musky rose and peony waft from the glass, then continue to allure in the mouth. There, subtly caramelized, roasted parsnip, turnip, beet and strawberry notes mingle with piquantly pip-tinged ripe pear. This is liqueur-like in its richness and gloss, but nutty and cyanic piquancy, gently nipping phenolics, and incisive peppery bite all serve for invigorating cut and contrast. There is incredibly umami-rich, sweet/saline savor to the long, soothing, yet stimulating finish that positively tugs at the salivary glands, not to mention reels you back to take the next sip. This strikes me as the most successful rendition since this audacious and auspicious series’ inaugural 2009, a wine that’s still going from strength to strength. So who knows how long these Rosenberg bottlings vinified from whole berries in huge clay pots left underground and unexamined for more than a year will evolve long-term. Comparison with my notes on the ‘regular’ version of Rosenberg will show just how much personality from those grapes and site is preserved, albeit also transformed, in this ‘Qvevre’ bottling. (And it’s no longer a rarity: there are 3,300 liters in 2013.)”
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