Gut Oggau Theodora 2015

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Neusiedl, Burgenland, Austria
Grüner Veltliner & Welschriesling
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, minimal additional sulphites

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but can you judge a wine by its label? Not really, of course, but Gut Oggau, an estate by Lake Neusiedl in Austria's Burgenland province, possibly comes closest to making this true. The wines here are, quite literally, a family. Each bottle’s label features a line-drawn black and white portrait of a fictional family member, of one of three generations, and the back label explains their imagined personality. So, for example, we learn that Mechthild (a white wine… and the grandmother) is “the ‘kind-hearted grandmother’ of nostalgia that one trusts, but she can be secretive and polarise opinion”. We also learn that Atanasius (a red wine, a grandchild and “an attractive young man”) is “exceptionally popular” but that he “still retains some hidden qualities, which make him even more interesting”. Emmeram (a Gerwürztraminer), incidentally, is convinced that the daughter of Wiltrude (a daughter-in-law and sweet white), Theodora (white), is actually his.

Theodora: "Wiltrude's daughter. A pert but likeable young lady, who takes everyone's heart by storm with her cheerful and animate manner. She is attractive like her mother and at the same time both impudent and elegant. The prankster at the vineyard Oggau, she is nonetheless most reliable and steady. She has a particularly close relationship with her beloved grandmother Mechtild and her favourite uncle Emmeram."

In 2015 Theodora didn't completely finish fermentation and was bottled with a little residual sugar in a crown-capped bottle. Some, but not all, of this sugar has fermented out, leaving the wine off-dry and refreshingly pétillant. There is lots of fresh, zesty lemon citrus, some flinty, struck-match reduction, and savoury straw-like aromas. Young and restless!