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Heidi Schrock Junge Lowen 2020 £17.06
Heidi Schröck Junge Lowen 2020
Heidi Schröck took over her family’s 10-hectare estate in 1983, in the famous village of Rust, Burgenland, just five miles from the Hungarian border. Her south-east facing vineyards along the western banks of Lake Neusiedl form a semi-amphitheatre, which provides considerably more sunlight hours compared to the rest of Austria. The soils here are sandy with clay, gravel, grey quartz and schist. With help from her twin sons, Johannes and Georg, Heidi sustainably cultivates the classic Austrian varieties, Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St Laurent, as well as pioneering the revival of traditional varieties, such as Furmint, better known today across the Hungarian border.
The fruit for the Junge Löwen was sourced from the `Ruster` vineyard, which lies on the top of the Rust Hill surrounding Lake Neusiedl, facing eastwards. The soil is sandy loam with mica schist and gneiss. The vines are trained in the Guyot simple method. Viticulture is done sustainably, without the use of herbicides or insecticides and the growth of local plants as a cover crop is encouraged.
2020 was a great vintage in Burgenland. There was good rainfall in autumn, and spring was mild, which promoted an early grape ripening. Summer followed, characterised by alternating sunny and rainy periods, with neither long heatwaves nor temperature spikes. As a result, 2020 was one of the early harvests in the last 10 years, with the grapes picked by hand at the beginning of September. The 2020s have a cool elegance and soft fruitiness, with excellent balance and maturity.
The grapes were hand-harvested and quickly transported to the winery where the fruit was destemmed. The Blaufränkisch was fermented in stainless-steel tanks and St. Laurent in an open fermenter, which was punched down twice a day by hand. Fermentation lasted for approximately two weeks. After pressing, the wines were transferred to a 10-year-old Austrian oak barrel where they underwent malolactic fermentation. After six months the wines were blended, spending a total of 10 months in oak before bottling.
‘Junge Löwen’ is ruby red in colour, with luscious aromas of cherry, black pepper, leather and hints of fine tobacco. It has a beautiful minerality resembling the schisty soils where the fruit is grown. This medium-bodied wine has a lovely vibrancy, smooth tannins and an elegant finish.