Umathum Rotburger Classic 2018
Pepi Umathum is one of Austria's best known producers. In the Burgenland growing district called Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl), he counts as one of the great champions of the traditional Austrian grape varieties. His main holdings are Rotburger (Zweigelt), St Laurent and Blaufrankisch with a bit of Welschriesling, Roter Traminer, the extremely rare Gelber Traminer, and the unusual ancient Lindenblattriger (Harslevelu in Hungary). He farms sixty hectares, mostly in the Seewinkel community of Frauenkirchen, but also across the lake in Jois. Pepi has embraced the intricacies and harmonies of biodynamic viticulture, and for most of his wines, which are all hand-harvested, he prefers to use large barrels of native Austrian oak, which underscores the clear fruit aromatics of the wines. Some of the high-toned single vineyard bottlings are matured in smaller oak barrels and barriques, and are first released three years after the vintage. Years of experience drinking Burgenland reds have taught us that Pepi Umathum's entry-level Rotburger is second to none.