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Claus Preisinger, Puszta Libre Zweigelt-St Laurent 2019
Zweigelt 85%, St Laurent 15%
Puszta is the Hungarian name for the Pannonian Steppe, a vast plain that covers an area of 50,000km in Hungary and stretches all the way to Neusiedlersee. The 2015 vintage is a blend of 70% Zweigelt and 30% St. Laurent. The fruit is destemmed, a portion of the grapes is carbonically fermented, while the rest are pressed directly. The wine is spontaneously fermented and aged in 3000 litre foudres, and bottled without filtration. Claus suggests that this can be served lightly chilled to further enhance its bright, juicy drinkability.
�Puszta� is the Hungarian name for the Pannonian Steppe, a vast plain that covers an area of 50,000 km in Hungary and stretches all the way to Neusiedlersee. This wine is a blend of 80% Zweigelt and 20% St. Laurent. The fruit is destemmed, a portion of the grapes is carbonically fermented, while the rest are pressed directly. The wine is spontaneously fermented and aged in 3000 litre foudres, and bottled without filtration.
Claus Preisinger's winery is nestled in the village of Gols by Lake Neusiedlersee in Burgenland. Claus first started making wine with this father as a hobby, but after working with Hans Nittnaus, a neighbouring winemaker for a few years, decided that wine was his true calling. His first vintage was in 2000, and since then he has expanded his father's 3 hectares to the 19 hectares of vines he cultivates today. His vines are spread across 64 parcels and are largely planted to indigenous varieties such as Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent. More recently Claus has started working with Gruner Veltliner and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), producing distinctive, skin fermented white wines. His priority has always been to produce wine that is pure, balanced, and expressive of his terroir. His winemaking methods are very much guided by instinct rather than set formula, and he is perpetually experimenting and evolving, making wine that is markedly different in style to the classic interpretations coming out of the region. Claus was the first Austrian winemaker to start experimenting with skin contact wines fermented in Georgian amphorae. His 2009 Weissburgunder from the Edelgraben vineyard was the first vintage he bottled in this style, and since then he has been vinifying the whole Edelgraben range in amphorae. Claus is deeply committed to working in harmony with nature, and has been certified biodynamic since 2009. He also keeps his cellar interventions to a minimum, strongly advocating for wines that achieve balance naturally. Very little sulphur is added to his wines - Claus decides just before bottling if it is strictly necessary.