Tonight’s pick is a wine looking to challenge common perceptions and the winemaker’s mind—a blend of Welschriesling and Yellow muscat produced in a way to add a new dimension. I’m speaking extended maceration and soaking of whole berries with maturation in oak for a year. We’re looking at Joannes – Protner‘s Natura.
You see already from the deviant style of the wine label there’s something going on here. It’s the image of a painting they acquired in 2016, and this is when they started the organic conversion of the vineyard from where grapes for this wine are coming from.
The vineyard combines Welschriesling and Yellow Muscat. Two varieties with different ripening times. Welschriesling early and picked late, allowing for full ripening and botrytis and yellow muscat, ripening late, so you get grapes with fewer sugars and more acidity.
The first vintage released was actually 2016, and it was marked by a 5-day maceration – something unorthodox for Vodole at that time, while 2017 saw already a 21-day maceration. But let’s add details. Welshriesling macerated for 21 days in the press. The juice was then racked with lees in two barriques with whole berries of yellow muscat placed in it. It matured for a year and was later bottled without filtration, with minimum addition of So2.
This results in a wine of golden yellow colour with a slight amber rim and a dense texture.
Aromas are succulent, recalling dried apricots, raisins, grape berries soaked in alcohol, candied lemon and orange zest, hints of lime, forest honey, cedar, notes of dry Mediterranean herbs, rosemary, resin, allspice, caramel and sweet root.
The taste is a journey of intensity. Dry, with well-integrated alcohols and perceivable softness. On the other hand, it shows crisp freshness, with mineral salinity and slight astringency as a consequence of the vinification process. The taste is rather persistent, with a medium to full-body. Flavours of thyme mostly come to the forehand, with a slight fruitiness and honey notes—an elegant rendition of a wine that looks to explore uncharted territories.