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In Focus: Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent


Out of all grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent most likely demand the greatest amount of intuition from the producers. But they reward this sensitivity with particularly elegant wines.

We took particular notice of the very effective and sensitive use of wooden casks in the vinification. These casks come from Burgundy and are also used by Kollwentz for their award-winning Chardonnays. With the PN Dürr, 50% of the barrels are new. The wine was only racked twice, and bottled without filtration. The initial impression of reductive character just after the bottle was opened vanished rather quickly, and a noble, exquisitely sculpted wine soon blossomed, one that deserves some additional time in the cellar, preferably till 2019 and beyond.

Andi Kollwentz looks back, recalling the 2014 vintage. ‘Because of the great amount of rainfall, the danger of botrytis was extremely high, and we were obliged to discard an inordinate amount of grapes. We instructed our harvest team to not only cut away the affected material, but also to liberally remove additional quantities of grapes in order to be 100% certain. Even with this, I still felt unsure, and I decided: if the wine does not smell good on the second day in the cask, it will be declassified and there will just be no Dürr for 2014. But see here – straightaway, the wine displays a fine fragrance.’

The vineyard site Dürr, first mentioned in records from 1570, is situated on the slopes of the Leitha Range at an altitude of 280–295 metres above sea level. Only a small portion of it has been planted, and the remainder is devoted to imagination and hopes for the future. The soil is pure limestone. This eliminates the danger of botrytis infection, but at the same time it means constrained growth and small berries – low yields. The name of the site is perhaps a reference to the meagre soils (Dürr = barren), but the wine is in any event luxuriously elegant.

Trophy.Winner Pinot Noir Austria
The Kollwentz Estate
Grosshöflein, Leithaberg
92 Points. Pinot Noir ‘Dürr’ €37.30

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