Barbara Öhlzelt 'Zöbinger' Grüner Veltliner Kamptal DAC 2022

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Barbara Öhlzelt 'Zöbinger' Grüner Veltliner Kamptal DAC 2022
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Country Austria
Region Niederösterreich
Appellation/Sub-Region Kamptal DAC
Grapes Grüner Veltliner
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Sustainably Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine

“Bon courage” is the motto of Barbara Öhlzelt, who, since 2004, has been producing a range of fresh and sleek, nuanced cuvees at her eponymous Kamptal winery that overturn the northeastern Austrian region’s reputation for jubilant yet bombastic, fruitful bottlings. Farming around six hectares of vines in and around her home village of Zöbing, Barbara does all vineyard work by hand (even if she had ever wanted to use them, machines just wouldn’t fare well on the steep slopes) and, in most vintages, follows typical organic farming principles. However, her viticultural approach is technically deemed lutte raisonée—literally “reasoned fight,” generally taken as “supervised control"—a practice that allows her to apply minimal chemicals if absolutely necessary to save the vines. She also sources a bit of fruit from a handful of local small-production, sustainable growers. In the cellar, she takes the opposite approach, staying mostly hands off. After picking, fruit is pressed quickly in the morning so temperatures never get too high, fermentations are natural and aging is done in steel or acacia wood. This multi-site, village-level grüner is a good showcase of her style. Energetic and prismatic, it practically skips out of the glass with a limber palate of crisp orchard fruits, vibrant salinity and a delicate herbaceousness. We dare you not to pour a second (or third) glass. Sustainably grown, low-intervention/natural wine.