2021 Tscheppe, Salamander Plus (Chardonnay), Styria, Austria
During the harvest of 2021, a tempest with heavy rain and a significant temperature drop came when the wines were fermenting in Andreas’s new cellar which wasn’t completely finished back then. As a result, the fermentation stopped its usual pace and became very slow instead. As a solution, Andreas bottled the wine with the remaining residual sugar under crown caps, to let them finish the fermentation in the bottle and develop a bit of fizz. To distinguish this “cellar calamity edition” from the “regular” Salamander cuvée made in other vintages, the word “plus” is stated on the back label.
Soil: limestone/opok. Estate-owned, farmed organically by Andreas himself
Age of Vines: 6-12 years
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and destemmed. The grapes are pressed to old big barrels where they fermented spontaneously. As the fermentation stopped due to weather damage and severe temperature drop in the cellar, the wine was finally bottled in March 2023 with the remaining RS under crown cap, to finish the fermentation there. Unfined and unfiltered, 5ppm sulfur added at bottling.
Personality: floral, quince-like aromas with a touch of apple and earthy minerality. The mouth is full of fruit notes, from pears to apricots and citrus; slightly fizzy and perfectly balanced between laser-sharp acidity and a bit of RS (hence also the trocken – dry – category stated on the back label). The winemaker swears that pairing it with grilled asparagus, boiled new potatoes and hollandaise is a match made in heaven, as both the wine and the dish mingle lemony freshness with buttery creaminess.