Josef Fischer, Smaragd Ried Frauenweingärten
The Frauenweingärten encompasses the slopes between Rossatz and Rossatzbach, on the southern banks of the Danube, extending from the edge of the Dunkelstein forest down to just 25 meters from the river, and sloping up to a 48% incline. These northeast-facing hillsides are covered in a meter-thick deposit of glacial loess whose silty, sandy structure is ideal for Grüner Veltliner, and this loess is punctuated by elements of paragneiss (a metamorphic rock derived from sedimentary elements) and migmatite (gneiss with granitic elements) which increase the soil’s porosity. Fischer’s 40-year-old parcel Grüner Veltliner in the Frauenweingärten yields a wine which beautifully combines weight and transparency, and this 2019—clocking in at 14% alcohol with just one gram per liter of residual sugar—offers deep, borderline viscous yellow fruits which rise toward an airy yet elongated finish of mineral-driven precision. It was fermented spontaneously and aged the better part of a year on its fine lees in stainless steel with minimal sulfur additions.