Grapelive: Wine of the Day May 2, 2019

2016 Judith Beck, Red Wine “Beck Ink” Burgenland, Austria -photo grapelive

2016 Judith Beck, Red Wine “Beck Ink” Burgenland, Austria.
The beautifully detailed and interesting Beck Ink Red Wine, by the talented Judith Beck, crafted from mostly Zweigelt along with St. Laurent from Austria’s Burgenland region near Lake Neusiedl made from biodynamic grapes. Her estate which was founded by her parents in 1976 is one of the most intriguing wineries in Austria and highlights the terroir of this region set on loam, clay and limestone soils of the warm climate defined by the Pannonian plain. Judith Beck gained international experience at world-renowned wineries, including Chateau Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux, Braida in Piedmont and Errazuriz in Chile. Judith and her father Matthias practiced sustainable viticulture from the outset, and converted to biodynamic practice with the 2007 vintage, believing that path offers the best quality. Judith uses only native yeasts in the fermentation process. The red wines are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, in new barriques or in open vats. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation in new barriques or in large oak barrels. Judith Beck who launched her Ink in 2014, has made It is a fresh, juicy, vibrant and delicious blend of 80% Zweigelt and 20% St. Laurent, especially here with this release, it’s a dark, lightly perfumed red that has a smooth texture and wonderfully purity of fruit.

Judith’s fermentation, in her Beck Ink, occurs spontaneously, triggered only by the grapes’ native yeasts, all which was from hand picked, carefully sorted and de-stemmed grapes, in stainless steel tanks. Beck then circulates the fermenting juice over the cap of grape skins twice per day for the first 10 days to attain a balanced level of extraction, which certainly is the case with this 2016 version. The young wine, for Beck Ink, is then racked off its skins and moved into 1000-2000 liter, neutral acacia wood casks for two months where the wine completes its malolactic fermentation, then it is then transferred to neutral 500 and 1000 litre oak casks for 8-10 months of aging. All of this make the Beck Ink a easy to love wine with a dark and spicy profile showing layers of plum, black cherry, tangy currant and cranberry fruits along with mineral tones, dusty spices, delicate florals, anise, light earthy notes and a chalky element. The warmly ripe Beck Ink, which the winery notes, is natural and all vegan, has a quaffable character and it’s medium body make it a flexible red to go with a variety of food choices and it shines with a fresh vibrancy that allow it to be fun value offering and age worthy, to enjoy over the next 3 to 5 years.
($16-19 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

Grapelive: Wine of the Day May 1, 2019

2016 4 Monos Viticultores, Blanco, Sierra de Gredos, Vinos de Madrid DO, Spain -photo grapelive

2016 4 Monos Viticultores, Blanco, Sierra de Gredos, Vinos de Madrid DO, Spain.
The aromatic, mineral driven and crisp 2016 4 Monos Blanco, a blend of organic grapes, about 60% Albillo, 25% Moscatel and 15% Viura showing a range of citrus and yellow stone fruits in a dry package with chalky wet stone highlights and a touch of earthiness. This is a “village” white from vineyards in Cadalso de Los Vidrios and San Martín de Valdeiglesias set in the Sierra de Gredos Mountain Range, not far from Madrid at high elevation on mostly decomposed granite soils. Made in a fresh style the 4 Monos Blanco, is crafted by the team of Javier Garcia (also the head winemaker at Méntrida icon Bodegas Jiménez-Landi), co-winemaker Laura Robles, wine-lover David Velasco, and vineyard holder David Moreno, they used native yeasts for the primary fermentation after cold-macerating the whole clusters for 6 hours, then pressing into a combination of steel tanks and barrels for 40 days, then the 4 Monos Blanco is raked into neutral 300 liter oak casks for 6 months before bottling.

While I have had and love the 4 Monos Garnacha based wines, this was my first experience with their white and it is a unique wine, a bit more rustic that let’s say Gassac Blanc and not as heavy as a white Rhone style wine, it almost has a Loire sensation on the palate with hints of peach and preserved lemons, adding a hint of white flowers, dried herbs, muskmelon and clove. Air allows a sense of texture, while it stays nicely brisk, austere and dusty dry, this 4 Monos Blanco is an interesting food wine that reveals in a cheese pairing or with grilled seafood. This is a winery that is all about a natural and traditional style with an authentic set of wines that show a connection to the regions past and highlights the terroir, especially their reds! Imported by Jose Pastor Selections, 4 Monos are not easy to find, as they are exceptionally limited, but well worth with looking for!
($22 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive