It is never easy to fill the shoes of a powerful and polarizing figure, like Gerald Malat. Gerald’s tall, handsome and forever smiling son, is doing just that. In fact, the shoe size seems to have gotten even bigger under Michael’s direction. The previous level has been elevating under Michael’s eagle-like eyes which have set him on his upward climb. There is something extraordinary and unique about the expression of these vineyards under Michael’s direction. Even the entry-level wines find absolute deliciousness and express enough intellect to enamor us wine geeks. There is a range of yellow fruits and spiciness that walks you through a stone fruit grove and into a baker’s shop first thing in the morning. These wines seem to be born with a natural gravitation towards the highest level and each vintage seems to trump the previous one. The limit of the quality this estate is churning out has not yet been established.
Lay of the Land
Kremstal is one of the most recent DAC to be added to Austria. Founded in 2007, just west of the Wachau, this large appellation is divided into three significant zones. The most western part of the valley, near Stein, is primarily rocky soils, ideal for the elegant, yet intense, Riesling varietal. As you move east towards the historic town of Krems, deep loess soils cover the vineyards allowing Gruner Veltliner to express its highly aromatic and fresh nature. The third zone of the Kremstal is located on the southern banks of the Danube River, where some of the most pleasant wine villages are found. The deep valley is protected by the northern cool winds, though the warm Pannonian winds from the east are still strikingly present, resulting in a riper style wine.