TN: Weingut Heinrich (13 wines)

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Otto Forsberg
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TN: Weingut Heinrich (13 wines)

#1 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 11th, 2020, 2:45 am

In late May one of my friends arranged a producer-themed tasting on Weingut Heinrich.

I guess not that many are familiar with Heinrich, so perhaps I should have an introductory of sorts here.

So, in short, Heinrich is a winery located in Burgenland, i.e. that wine region in the easternmost Austria, right next to Hungary and pretty close to Vienna/Wien. Most of the Heinrich vineyards are located in the Leitha mountains sub-region, which surround the famous Neusiedlersee (lake Neusiedl) - however, the wines don't come from the wine region known as "Neusiedlersee", because that region encompasses the eastern shores of Neusiedlersee, the wine region of Leithaberg encompasses the northern and the western shores of Neusiedlersee.

The Heinrich wine range covers a wide variety of different wines and wine styles made from a large selection of different local and international varieties. All the vineyards are farmed according to biodynamic principles and the wines are made in a more or less non-interventionist fashion, including spontaneous fermentations, preference for used large oak barrels over new barriques and minimal use of sulfites. Some wines are made in a more conventional style, others in a more naturalist fashion. For the most part we had quite conventional wines in this tasting, but also a few of the more natural wines from the "Freyheit" range.

Here's the lineup:
heinrich.jpg
  • 2015 Heinrich Chardonnay Leithaberg - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland (28.5.2020)
    A biodynamic Chardonnay. Macerated for a few hours with the skins, fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, aged on the lees for 21 months in 500-liter oak barrels. Bottled in August 2017. 13% alcohol, 1,5 g/l residual sugar and 6,0 g acidity.

    Pale yellow-green color. Slightly smoky nose with a somewhat Puligny-Montrachet feel. Aromas of white peach, some gunpowder reduction, light toasty oak tones, a little bit of white peach, a hint of sweet golden apple and a touch of green apple peel. The wine is ripe and somewhat oily but also precise on the palate with a medium body and somewhat tangy flavors of creaminess, some tart lemony citrus fruits, a little bit of toasty oak, light saline mineral tones, a reductive hint of flint smoke and a sharp touch of Granny Smith apple. The finish is long, tangy and quite saline with flavors of tart lemony citrus fruits, some green apple, a little bit of apple peel bitterness, light toasty oak tones, a hint of creaminess and a touch of pineapple.

    A very fresh, poised and thoroughly enjoyable Chardonnay with a very Burgundian overall feel to it. Shows wonderful sense of precision and minerality with lovely, smoky overtones of subtle reduction. Still very youthful, showing great potential for future development. A world-class white. Performs so much better than the vintage 2014 that was tasted at the same time.
    (93 pts.)


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  • 2014 Heinrich Chardonnay Leithaberg - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland (28.5.2020)
    A biodynamic Chardonnay. Macerated for a few hours with the skins, fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, aged on the lees for 19 months in 500-liter oak barrels. Bottled in mid-May 2016. 12,5% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 6,3 g acidity.

    Medium-deep yellow-green color. Moderately reductive and slightly weird nose with a prominent streak of popcorn. Not the buttery aromas, but the notes of roasted kernels, followed by lighter nuances of leafy greenness, some cabbage juice, light grainy tones, a hint of crunchy white fruit and a touch of pomelo. The wine is medium-bodied and somewhat lean on the palate, feeling as though the wine is only barely ripe. Flavors of popcorn kernels, some fresh golden apples, a little bit of crunchy quince, light smoky notes of reduction, a hint of toasty wood and a touch of grainy malt. Overall the wine feels quite nervous and a bit austere. Noticeably high but not aggressive acidity. The finish is fresh, tangy and somewhat lean with medium-long flavors of saline minerality, some tart green apples, a little bit of lemony citrus fruits, light toasty oak tones, a hint of sappy greenness and a touch of gunpowder smoke.

    A crisp, lean and quite electric Chardonnay with a slightly green character that makes one wonder if the wine is actually fully ripe. The wine never comes across as aggressively austere, vegetal or anything like that, but compared to the beautiful 2015 vintage that was tasted alongside this, the vintage 2014 comes across as rather nervous and underwhelming. Furthermore, the weird, grainy and non-buttery note of popcorn in the nose was not perhaps what I'd really look for in a Chardonnay. This was something of a let-down.
    (84 pts.)


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  • 2015 Heinrich Neuburger Freyheit - Austria, Burgenland (28.5.2020)
    A naturalist Neuburger from Mönchhofer Riede Kurzberg vineyard and sites in Leithaberg. Macerated for one day with the skins, fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, aged on the lees for 9 months in large oak casks and bottled unfined, unfiltered and without any sulfites. Since the wine sees no sulfites at any point, the lees in the bottle are supposed to create a reductive environment to protect the wine from oxidation. Bottled in mid-May 2016. 12% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 5,2 g acidity.

    Hazy pale yellow-green color. Fresh and slightly reductive nose with aromas of red apple, some chalky minerality, light creamy tones, a little bit of pineapple, a hint of leesy yeast and a grassy touch of herbal greenness. The wine is fresh and lively on the palate with a medium body and slightly neutral flavors of tangy saline minerality, some lemony citrus fruit notes, a little bit of tart green apple, light grassy herbal tones and a hint of apple peel bitterness. Enjoyably crisp and crunchy acidity. The finish is fresh and crunchy with quite long aftertaste of tart green apples, some peach, a little bit of grassy herbal character, light leesy notes of creaminess and a hint of tangy saline minerality.

    A nice, bright and refreshing white that comes across as something not unlike a Chablis with a somewhat leesy character. A fresh, structured and drinkable effort with a quality that is rather neutral in that Chablis kind of way. The overall feel is still quite youthful here, so I can imagine the wine will keep for at least a handful of years. It's hard to assess if the wine is going to be actually developing from here, however. Probably best drunk in its youth, I guess.
    (89 pts.)


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  • 2015 Heinrich Welschriesling Freyheit - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Leithaberg (28.5.2020)
    A naturalist Welschriesling from Leithaberg. Macerated for 20 hours with the skins, fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, aged on the lees for 7 months in large oak casks and bottled unfined, unfiltered and without any sulfites. Since the wine sees no sulfites at any point, the lees in the bottle are supposed to create a reductive environment to protect the wine from oxidation. Bottled in mid-May 2016. 11,5% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 4,7 g acidity.

    Quite hazy yellow-green color. Ripe, somewhat sweet-toned and slightly wild nose with aromas of apricot, some bretty funk, a little bit of lemony citrus fruit, light chalky mineral tones, a leesy hint of creaminess and a bretty, lambic-like touch phenolic spice. The wine is somewhat oily, a bit neutral and slightly funky on the palate with a medium body and pretty crunchy flavors of tart lemony citrus fruit, some ripe Granny Smith apple, a little bit of tangy salinity, light bretty notes of phenolic spice, a hint of leather and a leesy touch of creaminess. Balanced, moderately high in acidity. The finish is long, tangy and somewhat saline with flavors of crunchy green apples, some lemony citrus fruit, a little bit of leathery brett funk, a hint of leesy creaminess and a touch of chalky minerality.

    As one can expect from a Welschriesling, this is a somewhat neutral white with modest acidity. However, unlike so many a Welschriesling I've had, the acidity manages to keep the wine very nicely in balance and the slightly funky undertones of brett lend this otherwise rather bland variety some nice depth and additional complexity without overwhelming any of the lighter nuances. While this might be a bit too underwhelming to be truly exciting, this is still a well-made and interesting effort for a Welschriesling. Nice stuff.
    (88 pts.)


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  • 2016 Heinrich Graue Freyheit - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Leithaberg (28.5.2020)
    A blend of biodynamically farmed Chardonnay (40%) Leithaberg, Pinot Gris (40%) from Joiser Hackelsberg and Pinot Blanc (20%) from Leithaberg. Macerated for 15 days with the skins, fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, basked pressed, aged on the lees for 14 months in oak barrels and bottled unfined, unfiltered and without any sulfites. Since the wine sees no sulfites at any point, the lees in the bottle are supposed to create a reductive environment to protect the wine from oxidation. Bottled in December 2017. 13% alcohol, 0,7 g/l residual sugar and 5,4 g acidity.

    Hazy orange color with the appearance of blood orange soda. Somewhat restrained nose that opens ups slowly, revealing aromas of wild waxy tones, some bretty funk, a little bit of leather, light orange marmalade tones, a resinous hint of phenolic spice and a touch of rowanberry jam. The wine is dry, lively and medium-bodied on the palate with slightly reticent flavors of resinous phenolic spice, some orange, a little bit of bruised apple, light rowanberry tones, a hint of quinine bitterness and a touch of leesy cream. The wine is enjoyably high in acidity with a slightest touch of tannic grip. The finish is long and complex with nuanced flavors of wild waxy character, some resinous tones, a little bit of orange, light bruised apple tones and a hint of leesy yeast.

    A very attractive and quite sophisticated skin-contact white. Although from the more extreme end of the naturalist spectrum, the wine is quite modest in its funky tones and comes across as quite clean and well-behaved, without any overtly natty qualities. Not a showy wine, this is quite a reticent one, and despite its somewhat rustic qualities, it still seems to emphasize nuance and finesse over any overt skin-contact qualities or overwhelming funky wild character. Seems to benefit from breathing as the wine opens up after a while in the glass. Nice stuff.
    (90 pts.)


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  • 2008 Heinrich Weissburgunder Leithakalk - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Leithaberg (28.5.2020)
    A Pinot Blanc sourced from several vineyards around Leithaberg. Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, aged for 16 months in oak vats and twice-used oak barriques, bottled in May 2010. 13% alcohol.

    Surprisingly youthful lime-green color. Somewhat developed and a bit woolly nose with aromas of leesy yeast, some wizened golden apples, a little bit of aged waxy character, light notes of apricots and a hint of chalk dust. The wine is medium-bodied, oily and concentrated on the palate with flavors of quite pronounced saline tang, some developed woolly tones, light tropical notes of pineapple and nectarine, light leesy nuances of yeast, a little bit of bruised apple and a mature nutty hint of slivered almonds. Nicely structured, high acidity. The finish is rich and juicy yet very dry with long, complex flavors of ripe golden apples, woolly lanolin, some leesy yeast, a little bit of saline tang, light nutty tones and a hint of pineapple.

    A stylish, nuanced and quite complex Weissburgunder with a somewhat Chenin feel to it, thanks to the woolly tones and a taste that feels more mineral than fruit-driven. The wine certainly shows some age, but it doesn't feel particularly old or tertiary yet. It is hard to assess if the wine is going to develop further from here, or just fade away, but at least it is drinking very nicely right now so there is definitely no need to hold onto bottles anymore for that part. Nothing mind-blowing (unlike, say, Pinot Bianco Vorberg at this age), but nothing to complain either. Fine stuff.
    (91 pts.)


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  • 2008 Heinrich Chardonnay - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland (28.5.2020)
    The grapes are sourced from vineyards in Leithaberg and Parndorfer Platte (Neusiedlersee). Macerated with the skins for 8 hours. Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in oak barriques. Partial MLF. Aged for 15 months in 500 and 2000-liter oak casks. Bottled in May 2010. 12,5% alcohol.

    Surprisingly pale, youthful and luminous lemon-yellow color. Developed, rich and creamy nose with aromas of apple jam, some cheesy notes of cheddar powder, a little bit of pineapple, light bruised apple tones and a hint of panna cotta. the wine is wonderfully precise and lean on the palate with a medium body and fresh, racy acidity. Intense and moderately developed flavors of creamy oak, some buttery notes of ghee, light cheesy notes of powdered cheddar, a little bit of pineapple and bruised apple, a hint of tangy salinity and a toasty touch of pop corn. Good sense of structure, thanks to the high acidity. The finish is crisp and lengthy with intense flavors of tart lemony citrus fruits, some tangy salinity, a little bit of butter, light pineapple tones, a hint of creaminess and a touch of cool, stony minerality.

    A beautifully developed, complex and very precise Chardonnay with wonderfully mineral overtones and good, structured acidity. The cheesy and buttery notes are getting a bit too much for me at times, so I guess with slightly less overwhelming buttery notes the wine could've hit even a higher score for me. Nevertheless, a fine, well-made and pretty Burgundian effort with good sense of development. Drinking wonderfully right now, but most likely will continue to improve from here. Very nice, recommended.
    (92 pts.)


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  • 2015 Heinrich Blaufränkisch Freyheit Rosé - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee (28.5.2020)
    An organic Blaufränkisch from vineyards in Leithaberg. Macerated with the skins for 20 hours. Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts and aged for 7 months in wooden fermentation vats. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and without any sulfites. Since the wine sees no sulfites at any point, the lees in the bottle are supposed to create a reductive environment to protect the wine from oxidation. Bottled in mid-May 2016. 12% alcohol, 1,1 g/l residual sugar and 5,5 g acidity.

    Slightly hazy reddish-orange color with a colorless rim. Very restrained and understated nose with almost no aromas of any kind. Just subtle nuances of wool and some mealy apple. The wine is dry, medium-bodied and quite restrained on the palate with light flavors of wild strawberries, some crunchy redcurrants, a little bit of developed smoky character, light tart notes of Granny Smith apple and a hint of tangy salinity. Fresh, high acidity. The finish is quite long and acid-driven with understated flavors of redcurrants, some wild strawberries, a little bit of tangy salinity and a hint of ripe gooseberry.

    A nicely fresh and acid-driven rosé that seems to be already past its prime. The taste still retains some sense of fruit, but the nose has faded away quite completely. Despite its rather neutral overall character, this is thoroughly enjoyable and nicely refreshing an effort, but most likely this has been much better a few years ago. Now the wine seems to be a mere shadow of what it has been.
    (85 pts.)


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  • 2014 Heinrich Zweigelt - Austria, Burgenland (28.5.2020)
    Made with organically farmed grapes from Heideboden, Parndorfer Platte and Leithaberg. Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in wooden vats and stainless steel, macerated with the skins for 2 weeks and then aged for 14 months in wooden vats and old 500-liter barrels. Bottled in December 2015. 12,5% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 5,2 g/l acidity.

    Dark and only slightly translucent ruby-red color with a thin, pale pink rim. Juicy, fruity and attractive nose with aromas of ripe blueberries, some blackcurrants, a little bit of red plummy fruit, light smoky tones, a hint of peppery spice and a touch of bilberry juice. The wine is light-to-medium-bodied, fresh and crunchy on the palate with vibrant flavors of redcurrants, some sour cherry bitterness, a little bit of ripe blueberry, light peppery tones, a hint of tart lingonberry and a touch of fresh red plums. Good structure for a Zweigelt with high acidity and moderately grippy medium-plus tannins. The finish is lively and fresh with bright, medium-long flavors of redcurrants, some red plums, a little bit of blueberries, light peppery notes and a hint of sour cherry bitterness.

    A very serious and impressive effort for a Zweigelt - probably the best straight Zweigelt I've ever had - and shows still quite a bit of potential for future development even though the wine isn't young anymore. Wonderful freshness, poise and sense of structure here with lovely purity of fruit. Furthermore, I love how the wine has actually some depth and nuance, since - to me - all too often Zweigelt seems to be a one-trick pony of just overwhelming blueberry extravaganza without much else. This pushes the envelope further, coming across as a harmonious and very much complete Austrian red. Recommended.
    (91 pts.)


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  • 2016 Heinrich Blaufränkisch Burgenland - Austria, Burgenland (28.5.2020)
    A biodynamic Blaufränkisch from several vineyards in Leithaberg. Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in wooden vats, macerated with the skins for 3 weeks and then aged for 20 months in old 500-liter barrels. Bottled in July 2018. 12,5% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 6,5 g/l acidity.

    Youthful, moderately translucent and somewhat plummy purplish-red color. At first the nose is heavily reductive with flatulent, sulfurous notes, but clears up pretty fast revealing aromas of ripe dark forest fruits, some wet stones, a little bit of earthy spice, light smoky reduction notes of gunpowder, a hint of peppery spice and a touch of brambly blackberry. The wine is dry, medium-bodied and somewhat austere on the palate with a tightly-knit overall feel and pure flavors of sour cherries, some blueberries, a little bit of stony minerality, light brambly notes of raspberries and blackberries, a reductive hint of flint smoke and a touch of savory spices. Impressively high in acidity with somewhat grippy, assertive tannins. The finish is dry, crunchy and pretty tightly-knit with some tannic grip and intense flavors of sour cherry bitterness, some tart lingonberry, a little bit of crunchy cranberry, light blueberry tones, a hint of fresh red plums and a touch of peppery spice.

    A very impressive and dead-serious Blaufränkisch with no "fun" whatsoever here. And that is not a negative! The wine is wonderfully pure, stern and structured with very complex and delightfully intense flavors. Seeing how the wine seems to suffer from quite a bit of reduction even after two years of bottling, it is very apparent that this wine is built for the long haul. If opened now, the wine needs a lot of air before starting to show its best. A fine wine and one of the most impressive Blaufränkisch wines I've had. Expect the score to go up as the wine matures. Highly recommended.
    (92 pts.)


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  • 2016 Heinrich Pannobile - Austria, Burgenland (28.5.2020)
    A blend of biodynamically farmed Zweigelt (55%) and Blauränkisch (45%) from vineyards located in Gols and the Leithaberg region. Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in wooden vats, macerated with the skins for 3 weeks and then aged for 21 months in old 500-liter barrels. Bottled in August 2018. 12,5% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 6,2 g/l acidity.

    Deep, dark and almost fully opaque blackish ruby red color. Savory, meaty and somewhat concentrated nose with aromas of wizened dark plums, some peppery spice, a little bit of blueberry, light smoky notes of reduction, a hint of sweet strawberry and a touch of brambly black raspberry. The wine is ripe, quite stern and pretty muscular on the palate with a medium-plus body and intense flavors of sour cherries, meaty umami, some blueberries, a little bit of stony minerality, light reductive notes of flint smoke, a hint of tart cranberry and a touch of crunchy redcurrant. The overall feel is enjoyably structured with its high acidity and quite grippy medium-plus tannins. The finish is long, concentrated and quite tightly-knit with intense flavors of fresh blackcurrants, some tart red plums, a little bit of ripe cranberry, light meaty notes of umami, a hint of redcurrants and a touch of sour cherry bitterness.

    A clean, structured and quite assertive Pannobile that plays to the strengths of both the varieties: this shows the meatiness and tightly-knit structure of a great Blaufränkisch, but is more open and fruity like a Zweigelt. Still very youthful and even showing subtle reduction, this is obviously a wine for the long haul. Probably starting to reach its drinking window soon, but still years away from its peak. Most likely needs more than 10 years before starting to show its best. Great stuff, highly recommended.
    (93 pts.)


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  • 2015 Heinrich Pannobile - Austria, Burgenland (28.5.2020)
    A blend of biodynamically farmed Zweigelt (55%) and Blauränkisch (45%) from vineyards located in Gols and the Leithaberg region. Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in wooden vats, macerated with the skins for 3 weeks and then aged for 21 months in old 500-liter barrels. Bottled in August 2017. 13% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 5,9 g/l acidity.

    Deep, dark and slightly translucent blackish ruby red color. Very open, expressive and beautifully floral nose with intense aromas of sweet bilberries, some ripe dark plums, light inky tones, a little bit of meaty umami, a hint of roasted game and a subtle lifted touch of sweet VA. The wine is dry, dense and crunchy on the palate with a medium body and intense, ripe flavors of blueberries, some fresh dark plums, a little bit of boysenberries, light meaty notes of umami, a hint of crunchy redcurrant and a touch of sour cherry bitterness, The overall feel is quite structured with the high acidity and rather assertive, moderately grippy tannins. The finish is dry, juicy and moderately grippy with intense flavors of sour cherries, some blueberries, a little bit of crunchy red plum, light herbal bitter notes, a hint of stony minerality and a touch of gamey meat.

    A very tasty, stern and serious Austrian red with a still rather youthful and quite tightly-knit feel. Compared to the slightly more closed and brooding vintage 2016 that was tasted alongside, this felt more open and ready for business, but at the same time even more ageworthy in style. While this is quite drinkable already, the wine is all about aging potential. I can imagine it will take a decade or two before this wine is hitting its peak. Very highly recommended.
    (94 pts.)


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  • 2012 Heinrich Gabarinza - Austria, Burgenland (28.5.2020)
    A blend of biodynamically farmed Zweigelt (40%), Blauränkisch (30%) and Merlot (30%) from the best vineyards located in Gols called "Gabarinza". Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in wooden vats, macerated with the skins for 3 weeks and then aged for 20 months in old 500-liter barrels. Bottled in July 2014. 14% alcohol, 1 g/l residual sugar and 5,2 g/l acidity.

    Somewhat developed and moderately translucent pomegranate color. Concentrated, ripe and rather sweet-toned nose with aromas of sweet dark plums, some creamy lactic notes, a little bit of blueberry juice, light boysenberry marmalade tones and a slightest hint of mocha. The wine is ripe, full-bodied and juicy on the palate with quite concentrated flavors of dark plums, some boysenberries, a little bit of blackberry jam, light peppery notes, a hint of savory wood spice and a touch of meaty umami. The wine is moderately high in acidity with quite ample but also very ripe, gentle and powdery tannins that contribute mainly to the texture and the firmness in the mouthfeel, not to the grip and structure. The finish is ripe, long and somewhat more grippy with rich, slightly sweet-toned flavors of blueberries, some peppery notes, a little bit of savory wood bark, light blackberry marmalade tones and a hint of juicy dark plum.

    Compared to the more dry, stern and savory wines of Heinrich, this wine feels somewhat softer, easier and sweeter-toned in style with slightly more emphasis on the wood tones that are nigh nonexistent in their other wines. I wonder if it's the winemaking, or if it's just the Merlot component that is doing its tricks here, making the wine feel plush and fruity - at least when compared to the rest of the Heinrich range. This is a good and enjoyable red wine with lots of ripe fruit and good sense of balance, but it lacks the freshness, stern overall quality and sense of focus I love in Heinrich wines. Somehow this fails to engage me similarly. Good, but not really great.
    (89 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker

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