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 - 2016 Riesling, ‘Silberbichl’

Price: $45.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

Out of stock

Type of Wine: White
Grape(s): Riesling
Style: Mineral, Elegant and Aromatic

The Wine

The middle-aged vines of this wine average 35 years of age and are grown on gradual terraces of loamy loess soils and mica schist with a northeastern aspect. Like most of the top range of wines from Michael Malat, this Riesling from Silberbichl (which translates to Silver hill) is fermented in stainless steel with natural yeasts before being racked into large 2,000-liter wood casks.

Easily the most mineral-driven wine in the range (and charming as hell), this elegant wine is layered with aromas of mint, exotic green and blue fruits, and notes of sweet watermelon rind, green melon, and kiwi that leap from the glass. On the palate, a range of early-ripening strawberries, red currant, lemon juice, lemon thyme, chervil, and yarrow add to the appeal of the wine. Perfectly amare and mouth-coating, the finish rests long on the mid- and back-palates, mercilessly drilling into the back of the mouth. After some time in the glass, the wine reveals unripe yellow plums, peach pit, and preserved lemon that deepen the wine’s complex range of pleasantries. This is Austria’s spring in a bottle.

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. Silberbichl (Silver hill) is named after the reflective shimmer of the flecks of mica weathered from its mica schist bedrock. This decomposed soil is a loamy mixed of loess deposits and layers of conglomerate river alluvium positioned on gradual terraces fully exposed to the summer sun from morning to night.

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 sulfite addition is done right after pressing. After fermentation the wine is racked into big old wood barrels.

Aging: 6-8 months in old 2000-liter barrels on fine lees. No fining. Filtered.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

Mineral, Stony, Spring Fruits: (Berries, Citrus, Stone Fruit), Exotic Greens, Herbs

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

Finish:

FrontMiddleBack

The Vineyard

Soil:

Mica schist (a stone with brightly reflective mica minerals) makes up the bedrock which is overlain with a loamy soil composed of decomposed mica schist, löss (calcium-rich, wind-blown sand) and limestone conglomerate.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Average of over 30 years (2019)

Altitude:

210-250

Aspect:

North East

Slope:

On a slope (4-5%)
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12.5 - 13.50

pH:

3.10-3.30

Titratable Acidity:

6.5-8.5

Residual Sugar:

<3

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

About The Wine

The middle-aged vines of this wine average 35 years of age and are grown on gradual terraces of loamy loess soils and mica schist with a northeastern aspect. Like most of the top range of wines from Michael Malat, this Riesling from Silberbichl (which translates to Silver hill) is fermented in stainless steel with natural yeasts before being racked into large 2,000-liter wood casks.

Easily the most mineral-driven wine in the range (and charming as hell), this elegant wine is layered with aromas of mint, exotic green and blue fruits, and notes of sweet watermelon rind, green melon, and kiwi that leap from the glass. On the palate, a range of early-ripening strawberries, red currant, lemon juice, lemon thyme, chervil, and yarrow add to the appeal of the wine. Perfectly amare and mouth-coating, the finish rests long on the mid- and back-palates, mercilessly drilling into the back of the mouth. After some time in the glass, the wine reveals unripe yellow plums, peach pit, and preserved lemon that deepen the wine’s complex range of pleasantries. This is Austria’s spring in a bottle.