Puszta Libre 2021 — Red Blend
A Wine That
turns around and nods 'Hasta La Puszta, Baby! No, we are not quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger but Claus Preisinger's interpretation of a Pannonian table wine that was born not following the rules. After a long wait, we're excited to welcome Puszta Libre back in stock with the 2021 vintage - and what a vintage! It's a juicy red wine — silky, smooth and super crunchy at the same time. Think black forest gateau in vinous shape. Warning: This bottle may be finished before you have even opened it, so we recommend keeping 2 bottles chilled at all times.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Claus Preisinger
Where & How?
From the Burgenland, Austria, this is biodynamically farmed Zweigelt (60%), Sankt Laurent (20%) and Pinot Noir (20%) from the Puszta. This is what the free wide land in Hungarian is called - the Pannonian lowlands. In Claus’ words, it’s “A free wine from a free area. My homage to good Beaujolais.”
A portion (20%) of the wine underwent a five-day carbonic fermentation, in a similar way to how leading Beaujolais natural wine producers work. The remaining 80% was destemmed. The maceration period was short (just five days) to produce a juicy, light red. Fermentation occurred naturally, and was aged in old, large barrels for just six months to preserve freshness. No sulphites added, bottled unfined and unfiltered.
From a hobby winemaker to farming 19 hectares of vines biodynamically, Claus may be young still but he already has 20 vintages under his belt. Having learnt how to make wine at school, "by the book," he quickly threw everything he's been taught out of the window. He says,
“With 20 years’ of experience I can now say it’s been a step by step thing. You start your winemaking career with what you learnt in school, and then you figure out that not everything you were told is right. Then, in the search of purity, it’s a trial and error thing. You keep trying out new things, and then suddenly you find you can’t really step back.”
Today, he makes wine in a cellar that is full of every vessel imaginable: from oak barrels, to foudres, to amphorae, to glass. He also wasn't content with the manner in which he had been taught viticulture. This led him to discovering the biodynamic way. When this journey began, like all other practitioners, he was reading Steiner and many other books and essays. These days, however, he feels he has built a base of knowledge and is able to explore his own notions further:
“Those first years - it was like following the rules. Nowadays, I see it more as working with a diagnosis - I see and feel what the soil needs, and what your wine needs. Then I react, or don’t react. Every year is a different growing season, and every vintage is different. You’ll try out different things, it’s all part of the process…. That keeps pushing me forward, and that’s why I really love my job.”