Sunday, April 19, 2020

Diwald. Where Quality Comes From The Vineyard.

Diwald. Where Quality Comes From The Vineyard.
Continental climate but sometimes it rains, just to make the Irish visitor feel at home on the Danube!

“Quality comes from the vineyard, there is no doubt about it.” So say the younger generation of the Diwald family winery in Austria, organic since 1980.

“There is nothing that can be improved in the cellar, quality can only be retained. Wine must be fun, it must always offer something new and it must tempt you to have another sip. And when the bottle is suddenly empty, then you know it’s perfect!” 

“Today, the Diwald wine style follows a simple credo: the wines – whether white, red, rosé, orange or cloudy – should be lean, elegant and cheeky, but still offer depth and body. They are individual wines which speak to our – and your – taste buds….”

Most of Austria’s vineyards are in the east of the country and Wagram, just to the northwest of Vienna, is one of the best areas for white whites and especially so for the Grüner Veltliner (thanks to the soil being particularly rich in loess), the most widely planted white grape in the country. The district, close to 3,000 hectare, stretches along the Danube from Klosteneuburg (itself a historical viticulture centre) to Krems.

Wagram, neighboured to the west by Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal, is one of Austria's 16 official wine regions, and its loess soil is noted for its water retaining properties. Warm days and cool nights also help the wine-growers and the climate is generally continental.

Diwald Zweigelt (vom Löss), Wagram Austria, 2017, 12.5%, €16.60 Mary Pawle

Zweigelt - a crossing of Saint-Laurent with Blaufrankisch, created in 1922 - is the most widely planted red-wine grape in Austria. According to Wine Searcher, well made examples have the potential to cellar for a decade. The “vom Löss” on the label indicates the grapes were grown on loess sites. Diwald practise cluster thinning in the loess-soil Zweigelt vineyards in order to reduce the yield dramatically and so considerably improve the grapes’ ripeness. “The wine becomes more concentrated, but never too heavy” and that is certainly the case here.
Colour is a rich ruby, bright. Rich fruits feature in the aromas. At its juicy heart, you’ll find flavours of cherry, plum and raspberry. A light dry wine with excellent acidity but one with a concentrated backbone and no shortage of tannin. Highly Recommended.

It’s a wine that needs food and expect it to be a good match for beef stews, goulash, mushrooms. Try also with Roasted ham hock, Grilled sausages with mustard, Duck Confit (try the excellent Skeaghanore version). Here’s an insider’s tip. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on venison, then use some Zweigelt in the cooking and the remainder (maybe a second bottle) to drink with it!
Diwald “Goldberg” Riesling (Wagram, Austria) 2016, 12%, €21.55 Mary Pawle
Riesling is the King of Wines, according to Diwald. “ is our secret love.” A love they share with us via this Goldberg. A light straw colour with green tints. Aromatic as ever, citrus prominent. And a citrus-y tingle intro to the palate soon followed by richer more exotic flavours. A crisp acidity ensures harmony from first sip to very satisfying finalé. This supple wine has no shortage of minerality and is Very Highly Recommended.

By the way, did you know that “deacidification” is a thing in Riesling and indeed in other wines? It is. But not here in Diwald. Here’s what they have to say on the subject: “Riesling originates from the Upper Rhine .… This grape variety demands a lot of its vineyard site and wine grower, but offers long-lived and expressive wines in return. We think it’s also important to mention that we do not de-acidify any of our Rieslings – they should be allowed to show their true, unaltered personality!”

Importer Mary Pawle has a couple of tips for you: “Allow this wine a bit of time before pouring. Try it with smoked duck breast.”

Diwald Grüner Veltliner (Wagram, Austria) 2018, 12%, €20.75 Mary Pawle

Light straw colour, bright, and micro bubbles cling briefly to bowl of the glass. Clean white fruit (apple, pear) aromas, a hint of pepper, even ginger. Quite an initial tingle on the palate and then the clean fresh fruit flavours flow in, acidity there also, minerality too and a lingering finish. The “vom Löss” on the label indicates that the grapes were grown on loess sites. 

Grüner wines are quite wide ranging, from light quaffers to serious sippers. The Diwald aim is to make wines that are “lean, elegant and cheeky, but still offer depth and body.” Serious winemakers but fun people and this is a cheeky wine that is elegant yet approachable and so so easy to enjoy!
The selected vineyards with their loess soils make it possible to create a spicy, lively and thoroughly full-bodied wine which reflects its origins. Light, dry and flavour-packed and Very Highly Recommended.

"We are still trading," that's the message from Mary and Ivan at the hillside HQ of Mary Pawle Wines in Kenmare. Both are cocooning so neither can deliver but their courier company Landbridge is taking up the slack. While demand from restaurants is knocked out, other regular customers are still ordering and there's even an increase in orders from smaller shops. So be sure and contact Mary if you need wine!

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