Naked Red, Heinrich

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Naked Red, 2017, Heinrich

Heinrich’s “seriously uncomplicated” red, naked with purity

Region: Burgenland, Austria
Grape(s): Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent
Genre: Organic & biodynamic
Low Sulphur: Yes
Tasting Notes: Dark and red berries, herbal, spicy, fresh

Gernot and Heike Heinrich took over from his parents in 1985. Heinrichs have been making wine in Burgenland going back almost three centuries, but Gernot caused some disruption when he went from producing simple whites to premium reds. That was not where his disruption ended, however. Always passionate about biodynamics, both from a winemaking and an environmental perspective, they fully converted in 2006 and were amongst the founders of Respekt (the certifying body for biodynamic viticulture in Austria). They are making terroir driven wine that can only be made, in Gernot’s eyes, if the terroir has a rich biodiversity and the vines are only a piece within a healthy ecosystem. Low intervention through and through, the wines often undergo slow cellar work and low sulphur to allow them to fully develop and express their identity.

Naked White is a blend of Zweigelt, Blaüfrankisch and St. Laurent (interestingly, since Zweigelt is a cross-bred grape whose parents are Blaüfrankisch and St. Laurent) from plots of both sides Lake Neusiedl – with limestone and schist soils on the west side and gravel rich soils on the east. The wine is a naked expression of the terroir around the lake, and Heinrich’s beloved ancestral home. The three grapes are vinified together, with two weeks maceration post fermentation in a mix of wooden vats and stainless steel. The wine then ages for 12 months in old oak before bottling, creating a wine with purity of fruit, herbal spiciness and a juiciness that makes Gernot describe it as “seriously uncomplicated”.