JOHANNES ZILLINGER ‘REFLEXION’ GRUNER VELTLINER 2017
As a child, Johannes Zillinger learned the craft of organic winemaking at his father’s knee, vowing to protect the environment rather than poison it. His father Hans is one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in Austria, converting to organic in 1983. When Johannes took over the 350-year-old winery in 2013, he took it a step further and became biodynamic, now Demeter certified. He has embraced the biodynamic philosophy head-on, and even grows his own herbs for tea tinctures to use as treatments in his vineyards. The wines are all spontaneously fermented, lightly filtered, and minimally sulfured only at bottling. The Kellerberg vineyard is at the heart of Johannes’ winery, with thyme interplanted throughout the vineyard and used to produce tea and extracts. Old grüner veltliner grapes consistently produce high quality wine every year. “Reflexion” is hand harvested, fermented with naturally occurring yeasts, and spends 4 months on the lees, and goes through full malolactic fermentation, which contributes a unique, savory richness to the wine. Golden yellow fruits form the core of this round-bodied white, leading off with a graphite edge, and finishing with loads of peppery spice and a mineral-driven finish. An exuberant display of flavors, this is a master-class in clean, precise winemaking. Certified biodynamic, low-intervention, vegan.