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 Steinbuhel

Malat - 2017 Riesling, ‘Steinbuhel’

Price: $41.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

24+ in stock

Type of Wine: White
Grape(s): Riesling
Style: Mineral

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. Steinbühl (Stone hill) is the stoniest site within Malat’s range and brings tension and more vertical elements to an already vertically inclined grape. The bedrock is a hard metamorphic stone called granulite and the topsoil deposited in former times by the Danube.

Vinification: The grapes are hand picked and selected without botrytis. The press is gentle and the fermentation is made spontaneous with natural yeast in stainless steel vats. The first sulfite addition is done right after pressing. After fermentation the wine is racket 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:

Citrus, Stone and Tropical Fruit, Charming, Ocean Spray, Mineral

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

The Vineyard

Soil:

Granulite bedrock with a deep topsoil of silt and river cobbles (with a lot of active limestone).

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Average of over 30 years (2019)

Altitude (meters):

205-230

Aspect:

West/North West

Slope:

Large terraces and a soft sloping hill
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12-12.5

pH:

3.10-3.30

Titratable Acidity:

6.5-8.5

Residual Sugar:

Dry

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