An excellent Chardonnay from Austria.
Beck’s the best
Judith Beck Chardonnay Austria 2022, 12.5% ABV,
RRP: €21.95 Stockists: Le Caveau, 64 Wine, Greenman Wines, Bradleys Cork
“The region around Lake Neusiedl (in Austria) is particularly suited to cultivate Burgundian varieties and provides optimum conditions for Chardonnay.” - Le Caveau.
Winemaker Beck is brief, to the point: “..handpicked grapes, whole bunch pressed, natural fermentation in old Barriques, 6-7 months ageing on the lees.”
We have an excellent and delicious Chardonnay on our hands here! The light gold colour with tints of green is a good indication of its youth, and the micro-bubbles on the glass suggest that it has been aged on the lees, which gives it a creamy texture and complexity. The fruity nose of peach and apple is also a classic characteristic of the variety, and the full-bodied palate with good acidity and a long finish makes it a very enjoyable wine to drink.
A Chardonnay from Austria? I was a little surprised when I first came across this wine about six years ago but have come to expect the high standard now. It is harmonious from start to finish. Very Highly Recommended. Try with fish or poultry dishes or pasta or on its own.
- Colour: Light gold, tints of green
- Nose: Fruity, with notes of peach and apple
- Palate: Full-bodied, with creamy fruit, good acidity, and a long finish
- Food pairing: Fish, chicken, pasta dishes
- Grape: Chardonnay
At this point, Judith Beck is on my short list of favourite winemakers. Here she explains how they get the best from their whites: Due to the warm climate and the very light soils, we usually have perfect physiological ripeness at an early stage. Acidity levels can be quite low. That’s why we like to work with skin contact on our whites to give them extra structure. The whites are fermented and matured in large wooden casks or old Barriques. This and the relatively long maturation on fine lees results in marked varietal characteristics as well as lasting fruitiness and aroma complexity. Wines definitely suitable for bottle ageing of several years.
They decided in 2007 to convert to biodynamic viticulture with the help of the expert Dr. Andrew Lorand. Keeping the vines naturally healthy includes cover crops, care for biodiversity, fertilizing with organic humus, manual labour, considering moon cycles for the working processes, and many other details.
You’ll see lots of wildflowers and weeds and grasses growing in the vine rows here. “We welcome everything that buzzes here” so note those bug hotels around. If you visit in the autumn, you may well see them digging in the cow horns.
And there are a few by-products. Obviously, the hens that wander around lay eggs. Not so obviously, the same kettle used in the preparation of herbal tea as a plant resistance improver is used to make their beers including a Pale Ale and Punk Pils.