Malat

The Story

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.

Malat - 2014 Pinot Blanc, ‘Am Zaum’

Price: $23.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

Out of stock

Type of Wine: White
Grape(s): Pinot Blanc
Style: Mineral, Medium Body

The Wine

The grapes for this wine are sourced from vineyards that sit just below the terraces of one of Michael’s best vineyards, Silberbichl. Interestingly, it is one of his few plots within the Wachau district rather than the Kremstal, but the soil is far more relatable to Kremstal with its fertile loess and rounded conglomerate deposits.

Spontaneous fermentation takes place in stainless steel before it’s racked into big 10,000-liter old wooden casks, where it spends less than three months to preserve its delicate aromas of white pear, cherimoya, soft mint, sweet lemon curd, and unsweetened piecrust. The wine is pleasantly rich in spice with a terrific chalky texture that completely encapsulates the palate on all sides, lingering for what seems like minutes. Pinot Blanc is not always what one thinks of when they think of Austrian wine, but take note of this special wine—it deserves to be in your glass.

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: Malat’s vineyards are located on the right bank (south side) of the Danube. Despite large topographical differences on the two sides of the river, all of the Kremstal is similarly influenced by the cold winds of the Waldviertel from the north and forests from the south, which creates a tug-of-war with the warm Pannonian climate from the east. These grapes are sourced from vineyards just below the terraces of one of Michael’s best vineyards, Silberbichl. It’s one of his few plots that are within the Wachau district rather than Kremstal, but the soil is more relatable to Kremstal with its fertile loess and rounded conglomerate deposits.

Vinification: The grapes are hand picked and selected without botrytis. The press is gentle and the fermentation is made spontanious with natural yeast in stainless steel vats. The first small sulfite addition is right after pressing before primary fermentation.

Aging: 3 months in old 2000- to 10,000-liter barrels on fine lees then bottled straight from fine lees. No fining. Filtered.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

White Fruit, Citrus, Spice, Baking Spices, Textured, Creamy, Fresh

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

The Vineyard

Soil:

Close to the Danube and as a result is mostly composed of fertile topsoils of löss and conglomerate river deposits.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Mix of 10-50 year old vines (2019)

Altitude (meters):

200-210

Aspect:

North East

Slope:

Light slope (1-2°)
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

11.5-12.5

Titratable Acidity:

5.5-7

Residual Sugar:

<2

Notes compiled in 2019 by Ted Vance (The Source) and Michael Malat

About The Wine

The grapes for this wine are sourced from vineyards that sit just below the terraces of one of Michael’s best vineyards, Silberbichl. Interestingly, it is one of his few plots within the Wachau district rather than the Kremstal, but the soil is far more relatable to Kremstal with its fertile loess and rounded conglomerate deposits.

Spontaneous fermentation takes place in stainless steel before it’s racked into big 10,000-liter old wooden casks, where it spends less than three months to preserve its delicate aromas of white pear, cherimoya, soft mint, sweet lemon curd, and unsweetened piecrust. The wine is pleasantly rich in spice with a terrific chalky texture that completely encapsulates the palate on all sides, lingering for what seems like minutes. Pinot Blanc is not always what one thinks of when they think of Austrian wine, but take note of this special wine—it deserves to be in your glass.