Plain Wine Volume 1

This month’s selection features 2Naturkinder from Franconia, Philip Lardot from the Mosel and Alexander Koppitsch from Burgenland.

Illustration by Anna Vu, @goodwinecrapdrawing

Philip Lardot
2016 Der Graf

Riesling
Mosel, Germany

I was very happy to actually score a couple of bottles from Philip, as this is the first wine he made and there aren’t many bottles out there. Philip is normally working for Ulli Stein and as a side project is now making a couple of natural wines.

If you haven’t had much natural wine this is probably one of less funky tasting ones. It’s a very creamy and rich Riesling — the very opposite of some of the more dry and mineral-heavy whites from the Mosel Valley. The grapes come from the Piesporter Grafenberg, a typical grey slate soil. Due to some skin-contact of the grapes (20% ferment with skin for 10 days) it even has some slight herbal notes. I suggest you open this the day before you wanna drink it to make some of the oaky flavors more subtle.

2Naturkinder
2017 Bacchus Pet-Nat

Bacchus
Franconia, Germany

Although I don’t like the labels and the name of 2Naturkinder (Shhh, I haven’t told them), I like how they are pushing the natural wine agenda forward by almost exclusively making no-sulfur wines. Melanie and Michael came back from London in 2013 to take over the family winery. After they had so much natural wine in New York and London they were convinced to make that wine at home as well. By now they are one of the bigger natural wine makers in Germany, probably shipping most of their wine to the US and Japan.

The Pet-Nat I chose for this Plain box is made with Bacchus, a weird German grape created by Peter Moria in 1933 as a cross between Riesling, Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau. It’s a very fruity and easy to grow variety, perfectly suited for a Petillant Naturel, which is definitely more of a fun drink. If you don’t know what a Pet-Nat is, it’s basically a wine that was filled into bottles while the fermentation is still ongoing, so all the CO2 is kept in the bottle and will naturally carbonate the drink. Once you open this bottle it’s very floral on the nose and I think of grapefruit when I drink it. You can actually make it into two drinks by actually opening it with all sediments settled and once you poured a couple glasses turn the bottle upside down to get all the stuff at the bottom into the wine. It adds complexity — and it is pretty much two drinks in one. Try it!

Alexander Koppitsch
2015 Zweigelt Unfiltered

Zweigelt
Burgenland, Austria

Maria and Alex took over the winery from their parents in 2011. The parents didn’t make their own wine instead sold grapes or bulk wines, so it’s a good thing they actually changed that. They farm biodynamically and do most of the work by hand. They just shared their new approach with me and they won’t do any single variety wines anymore. So this one is one of the few last single variety wines left. Looking forward to try some of the new ones they have in the pipelines. Will keep you posted.

Before you open this bottle be sure to not shake it too much or otherwise let it rest for a bit. There is some sediment in there that is not necessarily good for the texture while drinking it. Zweigelt is a poster child of Austrian grapes rarely seen outside of Austria. This specific one smells like cassis and toasted wood. Once it’s in the glass you get some spicy cherry notes.

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