Erich Sattler is emblematic of the new generation of Austrian vintners: a wine-school grad and the fourth generation in the family to take over his family’s estate, in 1999. Located in and around the village of Tadten, Sattler’s vineyards are on the east side of Lake Neusiedl, which moderates the warm air from the easterly Pannonian plain’s continental influence. The soil here is composed mainly of gravel, part of a five-kilometer wide gravel bed left behind when the Danube river dried up 2 million years ago. Sattler’s St. Laurent vines, some of which are 40-plus years old, are well suited to gravel soils for the production of wines with ripe, soft tannin, Erich’s primary goal. He farms his vineyards organically and became certified in 2016.
A traditional Austrian variety, St. Laurent is an offspring of Pinot Noir. The grapes for this wine were destemmed, then fermented spontaneously in stainless steel, with élevage on the lees for six months in stainless steel and large oak casks. Similar to Pinot Noir in structure and silkiness, with modest tannins, a distinct spiciness, and a hint of dark fruit and smoke, this wine is rich yet supple and easy to drink.
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