Riesling Zobinger Heiligenstein ‘Lyra’, Brundlmayer
The Bründlmayer family owns 12 hectares right in the centre of the Zöbinger Heiligenstein. 10,5 hectares are planted with Riesling. About 20% of the vineyards are trained in the Lyra trellis system. The other Heiligenstein vines are raised by the traditional Guyot method with the berries hanging 50-60 centimeters above the ground. Thinning is done as required to restrict the average yield to 3500-4000 liters per hectare for this classic (Kamptal DAC) Version. Two Reserves from Heiligenstein (Lyra, Alte Reben) are used to be harvested later in the year.
From a geological point of view the Zöbinger Heiligenstein site is not only the oldest but probably also the most interesting on the estate: the soil consists of approximately 270 Mio years old Perm desert sandstone. The sediments contain volcanic inclusions and carbonized remains of primeval vegetation. The uniqueness of this soil, its perfect gradient and position (SW to SE in a climatic borderland) provide ideal preconditions for growing outstanding wines. During the day warm winds (often due to the effects of the Pannonian climate) mount along the site whereas by nightfall cool gusts from the North start blowing through the Kamp Valley and bring forward the aromatic expression of the grapes.
Late harvested healthy grapes are necessary for this classic Kamptal DAC style. Fermented in stainless steel at a temperature of 15-20° Celsius. After fermentation the wine was partly racked into big wooden casks to mature for a short period on the fine yeast.
The wine is named for the Y-shaped trellising system that increases canopy, thus shading the grapes and increasing
photosynthesis. It also “looks like the vine is throwing its arms up toward the sun,” says Willi (poetically!), who adds, “And it
shows that you don’t need old vines to give great Riesling.”
I show you the ’14 basically for-the-record, as it won’t be released until 2016, not to mention any sensible person would jump
on the grandiose 2013.
I’m starting to sense that Lyra is a music that’s begun to write itself. Willi’s early goal was to show the utmost rapture of fruit,
as an alpha to the omega of the Alte Reben and its darker gravitas. But for the last three vintages, Lyra has become almost
overwhelmingly beautiful. It isn’t just fruit any more, and what began as a rapture has changed to a kind of apotheosis of fruit
toward a gleaming and complicated divinity. The wine remains ecstatic, but these things are never earned easily.
’13 is graceful and massive, dense and weightless, a whirligig of complexity in which a hundred elements glide in an esoteric
dance, moving quickly, stepping lightly; it has the focus and the beatific glow of Alzinger (and his wines!), somehow both
serene and hyperactively intricate.
The ’14 Lyra, which we’ll see in January 2016, is really green and herbal; it has its usual beaming countenance but in a different
key than usual, like a parfait of each green leaf. – Terry Theise
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