Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 21

that much harder to stop drinking. "I vinify the cinsault [for Métisse] just like my reds-six to eight days
of maceration," explains Magnon, "but just by infusion, not actively extracting. And the other part-
carignan, lledoner and a tiny bit of mourvèdre-I
press directly."
Nikolaus and Carolin Bantlin, who left Germany
in 1999 to pursue their dream of biodynamic viticulture, ended up not only as near neighbors of Magnon
but with similar stylistic ideals that eventually led to
another lovely almost-red, Ché Chauvio. "Our intentions with this wine," explains Carolin, "were those
that guide all of our offerings. Our fondness is for
vinifying light, elegant wines that are fun to drink,
which is not always so easy with our grape varieties
and climate. Ché Chauvio represents an attempt to
take that approach to the furthest extent. Besides, we
had a small plot of syrah, our first planting from 2002,
that was looking to us more and more like a mistake.
When we started our Domaine Les Enfants Sauvages,
we were truly clueless, so we allowed ourselves to be
influenced by the dominant opinion of local growers that we should absolutely plant syrah, which we
now realize was total nonsense for our terroir. We
first tried putting it into our [flagship] Cuvée Enfant
Sauvage...then tried raising it in barriques, which was
not exactly an epiphany. So in 2013 we tried pressing
it straightaway, since we weren't interested in tannins or dark color. Into the must we added the whole
clusters from our first crop of cinsault and closed the
tank to let the berries bathe for three or four days.
The result is lots of fruit, with tannins that you pick
up only as a pleasant persistence." Pleasantly persistent, too, is a hint of black pepper reminiscent of
pineau d'Aunis or rossese, though in this instance,
one should probably credit that to syrah itself.
"People thought some of the things we did were
crazy," notes Stephanie Eselböck of Gut Oggau,
which she and her husband, Eduard Tscheppe,
founded in 2007, along the shores of eastern Austria's
expansive but shallow Neusiedlersee. A case in point
is Winifred (named, like all of their wines, for a family
member), intended as a "year-round rosé," although
that description is deceptive given its depth of color.
The source is a gravelly old blaufränkisch vineyard
with a few rows of zweigelt. "We press them together

and give them a shorter or longer time on the skins,
depending on the vintage," explains Tscheppe, who
vinifies all of his wines sulfur-free in large old casks,
and bottles off of the full lees without filtration. The
wine is mouthwatering, sumptuously textured and
features rose hip, black tea, toasted nuts and Madagascar peppercorn. "Honestly, we didn't realize until
the first time we got it into bottle how much potential
it had," he says. It seems he and Eselböck also did not
realize that minimal pruning, generous yields and
short fermentation for a low alcohol not-quite red
reflect a long-standing tradition of so-called gleichgepresster (direct-pressed) blaufränkisch that once
dominated this part of Austria and was common up
until the 1970s.
The almost-reds of Domaine Maxime Magnon,
Les Enfants Sauvages and Gut Oggau are all reminiscent of the cofermentation among grape varieties
that ensues from a harvest of mixed plantings-"field
blends," to use the usual but somewhat misleading
American term-which were prevalent in most winegrowing regions until the mid-20th century, and still
are in some parts of the wine world. One such place
is the slopes of Sicily's Mount Etna, where Frank Cornelissen's Susucaru results from a patchwork of small,
ancient parcels featuring nerello mascalese along
with the white grapes malvasia, moscadella and cattaratto, all of which ferment together on their skins
for around ten days. Cornelissen notoriously eschews
sulfur, but he has recently started giving this still sediment-rich bottling a very light filtration. Its silken
texture and infectious juiciness encourage a rate of
consumption that could easily allow the casual taster
to overlook the wine's kaleidoscopically shifting floral, herbal and fruity nuances, or the wealth of mineral descriptors needed to do justice to an exemplar
of Cornelissen's ideal: "liquid rock."
If only the term "red" weren't being used already
for wines of a very different shade, and "claret" had
not become an artifact associated with long bygone
times, it might be easier for what one is forced to
describe as almost-reds to catch on.
But even absent a collective name, these and other
similarly hued wines will resonate with oenophiles
seeking levity, digestibility and nuance, and eager to
drink outside of the box. ■

Designed for
light chilling and
warm-weather
quaffing, these
almost-red
wines are full
of intrigue and
talent at table
year-round, both
in youth and with
some bottle age.

WINE & SPIRITS

OCTOBER 2017

21



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - October 2017

Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 4
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 6
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 7
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 8
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 9
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 10
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 11
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 12
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 13
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 14
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 15
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 16
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 17
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 18
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 19
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 20
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 21
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 22
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 23
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 24
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 25
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 26
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 27
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 28
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 30
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 36
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 37
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 38
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 40
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 41
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 42
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 43
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 45
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 46
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 47
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 49
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 50
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 51
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 53
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 54
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 57
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 62
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 63
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 65
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 66
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 67
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 68
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 69
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 70
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 71
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 72
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 73
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 74
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 76
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 77
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 78
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 79
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 80
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 81
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 82
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 83
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 84
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 85
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 86
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 88
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 89
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 90
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 91
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 92
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 93
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 94
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 95
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 96
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 97
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 98
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 99
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 100
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 101
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover4
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