Producer Profile: From within one of the oldest, most globally recognized “fine-wine” regions of Austria, and from two of the more prominent winemaking families, have emerged Martin and Anna Arndorfer of Weingut Arndorfer whose enterprise carries with it the legacy of Kamptal’s elegant and powerful Grüners & Rieslings though on markedly more modern, experimental, and oftentimes playful terms. The Kamptal is a region of Austria within Lower Austria (Niederösterreich) and is, despite the name, in the northeast of the country. It is a region defined by river valleys and complex geologic fans of ancient volcanic deposits and a topsoil of decomposed loess. The main river of the region is the one after which it is named: the Kamp. Distinguishing the appellation into halves, west of the river is Langenlois and east of the river is Straß im Straßertale, the two principal growing areas of Kamptal. In the latter, the Arndorfer wines stand out for their clarity in conjunction with experimentation – that is, they marry whimsy and curiosity with expertise and precision. The kind of wines that hit the rare sweetspot, where from the biggest ‘natty’ drinkers to the most ‘classical’ you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t fall hopelessly in love with a bottle of Arndorfer.
Vinification: 100% Zweigelt. Grapes are hand-harvested, direct-pressed into stainless steel, and fermented with wild yeasts. The fermenting juice spends an additional 8 days on gruner skins to add texture, tannin and a bit of peppery spice. About 70% of the wine spends time resting in stainless, while the other 30% rests in used oak. Bottled unfined, unfiltered with a touch of SO2.
Tasting: Berry madness on the nose. Crunchy crushed raspberries on the palate. Herbaceous and zesty with a spicy finish. This is a dark rosé (or a light red, depending on your mood) fit for a balmy late night in the park. Serve chilled.