Highlights: Heinrich Graue Freyheit 2017 Austria

This remarkable wine, in a clay bottle, is a blend of Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) from crystalline schist and quartz schist on the Joiser Hackelsberg (a northwest-facing slope in the Neusiedlersee area), and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Chardonnay from limestone and schist on east-facing slopes of the Leithaberg. Wild ferment on skins for two weeks, then matured in amphora and large oak vat. Bottled without added sulfur dioxide.

Heinrich Graue Freyheit 2017 Austria
12.5% alcohol. Freyheit means freedom, and this is the name Gernot Heinrich uses for his more natural wines, like this one which is no added sulfites. It is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, skin fermented. It’s a rich orange/amber colour, with a compelling nose of mandarin, green tea and spice, as well as some apricot and passionfruit notes. The palate is really nicely balanced, with good structure (fine grained) to the mandarin, pear and melon notes. There’s a fresh lemony finish, and nice spicy grip. Such an interesting wine of real appeal, and you have to love the out-there packaging which can be repurposed. 94/100

UK availability: agent is Indigo Wine, and it will shortly be available at The Sourcing Table (I declare and involvement as a contributing editor)