Is this naked wine or is the emperor naked?

Orange Wine from Fred Loimer

 

Many discussions took place when a new phenomenon came onto the wine stage. Orange Wine together with many dogmatic groupies on his coat tails challenged the status quo. The question popped up: what is real wine? How much manipulation can be made and what is the politically correct way to manipulate. A new drawn line divided just plain faulty and very interesting wines. Wine and food pairing became a new challenge. However, the troublemakers with their new ideas about wine caused almost riots in the wine world.

 

A few years later, we are all older and hopefully wiser. Many players in the orange movement professionalized themselves and mastered the wine making process. Orange today is a settled wine category. Furthermore, wine consumers have a clear idea how orange wine has to be. Even the groupies don’t praise every faulty crap anymore. They taste and smell when the emperor is naked.

 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to taste the line-up of Orange Wines from the notoriously curious Fred Loimer in the region Kamptal. He is one of the master minds in the Austrian wine business and produces next to his classy single vineyard wines a range of different Orange wines.

 

In this tasting, it became again very clear to me, that the focal point of many Orange wine is tasting the mouthfeel than smelling layers of lingering aromatics. It was exciting to taste, that structure and texture of every wine was so different. It seems that this winemaking process brings out the true texture of every grape variety in a wine. Furthermore, those wines need time to develop in the glass. You have to find out which temperature is the best. They need sometimes a bigger or a smaller glass and they change their taste profile constantly.

 

You have to accept that you have to listen. If you are ready for this, you don’t have to be one of these dogmatic groupies to enjoy now and then orange wines.

 

2015 Grüner Veltliner Achtung

This wine is a blend between fermented juice as well as cask and quiver fermented berries. This tempered winemaking made this wine approachable to a broader audience. The nose is driven by spice, pepper, smoke, bacon and dark bread. Amazing is the mouth-filling structure of the wine and the hot spicy tone on the mid-palate. Despite the phenolic structure, the wine is not bitter and keeps a lovely juiciness.

 

2015 Ruländer Achtung

Ruländer is a synonym for Pinot Gris. The colour of the wine is raspberry red with copper tinge. The aromas of red berries, sour cherries and hip reveals the relationship of this variety to Pinot Noir. The austere taste and mouthfeel is a huge contrast to the nose. This wine shows a tremendous hard, sinewy and stubborn tannin structure. It is almost as structured as a young left-bank Bordeaux. The sweet red cranberry fruit in the finish balances a bit the bitterness. However, this wine needs savoury food such as grilled lamb chop sticks maybe flavoured with Indian spices such as dried pomegranate seeds and wine drinkers who love tension.

 

2015 Gemischter Satz Achtung

This was my absolute favourite. A field blend of Grüner & Roter Veltliner, Weißer & Roter Riesling, Welschriesling and especially Traminer. This kind of wine production allows aromatic varieties to show different sides. The floral aromas come to the nose in a very natural way. This wine is lovely scented with notes of an old and precious tea rose. Very ethereal but perfectly woven into the whole picture of this wine. This wine showed an oily texture, very creamy mid-palate with bitter almond tones in the finish.

 

2015 Muskateller Achtung

This wine was next to the Gemischter Satz the most aromatic one. It was driven by almost only floral aromas like Geranium, jasmine, wild flowers, orange blossom – a whole bouquet. Lovely was the contrast between oily texture and a very salty taste. Especially the salty taste one can find in very good Muskateller but in this orange wine especially. This wine should be perfect for hearty salt water fish such as Rouget (red mullet) served in a saffron seasoned stock.

 

Those wines are classy and show that the new category “orange” is not just a fashion trend that will pass by. Those wines are a benefit to the wine world. Furthermore, they are inspiring for wine and food pairing. Stay curious!