Ex Vero III 2013
A Wine That
embodies the notion of 'vertical wine.' The aromas are linear; lemon pith at the forefront with stoniness lingering on the palate for an eternity. The texture is angular; although this is a direct-press white wine with no skin contact, there are subtle tannins here regardless. This is as serious as fine wine gets, and this cuvée in particular has earned Werlitsch an international reputation as creator of some of the finest wines of Austria.
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- Winemaker: Werlitsch
Where & How?
The vineyards here have been renowned for qualitative wines for centuries; so much so that they were documented in a wine map of the early 1800s. The Ex Vero III cuvée comes from the top section of the slopes, which are planted on 'opok' soils (the local name for clay with a high degree of limestone), where the soils are particularly rocky and the vines struggle. It is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc, with some 'Morillon' (the local name for Chardonnay).
The grapes are destemmed and direct-pressed. Time here is the secret ingredient: the wine is aged for 22 months on the lees (sometimes more) in large old oak foudres with small amounts of sulphur.
Ewald Tscheppe of Werlitsch is a winemaker who ditched the security of producing simple, easy-to-sell, “drink now, not for ageing” Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays. Inspired by the likes of Marcel Deiss, Gravner and Radikon, Ewald set out to see what his Styrian soils might be able to produce if given the chance. By throwing convention out of the window and by following an inert belief that biodynamic farming is the way forward, Ewald and his friends’ wines have changed how Styria is perceived.
They are wines of haunting aromas that age more impressively than most white Burgundies. They may be serious, fine wines, but they are in no way rigid or strict. Instead, they emanate good vibes and drinkability; testament to healthy farming and healthy wines. By giving the wines time and by not putting them into tight clothes by over-sulphuring them, he allows them to be true to themselves and to their place.