The name Kalkundkiesel designates the use of sites that are rich in chalk (kalk) and pebbles (kiesel). The blend is 60 % Weissburgunder, 30 % Grüner Veltliner, 10 % Chardonnay. The fermentation occurs with the skins, and the wine is aged for 6 months in neutral oak barrels on the lees. This wine opened up my eyes to the potential of Austrian whites, and I will always thank our esteemed former colleague Cari Bernard for bringing in interesting and "outside the box" wines from the country. Everything about this wine asks for patience and focus. The nose is enveloping, with stone fruit (white nectarine) and citrus notes, the texture on the palette is both rich and crispy/crunchy with mineral backbone. A lovely wine to sit back with and a very approachable (and clean) wine, particularly commendable as it's produced without added sulfites. A fine choice with Thanksgiving fare, as the stone fruit character and density make a suitable pairing for a fall harvest meal. -CSW
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