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Review: 2019 Biokult Naken

Austria is an oft-overlooked wine region, and when it does get discussed, it is usually only to discuss Gruner Veltliner. That’s a shame, because there's also great St. Laurent, Rieslings, Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, and Blaufränkisch being grown there, as well as wonderful field blends full of a mix of white grapes. It is also the home to a burgeoning natural wine movement, with its reliance on fermentation with indigenous yeast and natural malolactic fermentation. In other words, the way we used to make wine before we knew all the science. The 2019 Biokult Naken is a fine example of what happens with Austrian wine meets the natural wine movement.

Naken is a blend of organic Pinot Grigio and Muskateller (the latter being known for its MANY synonyms including Muscat Canelli and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains). This orange wine (a white wine made by leaving the juice in contact with the grapes and skins, lending it an orange or pink tinge). The wine is enclosed with a crown cap since it is lightly carbonated, and a slight amount of sediment is evident in the bottle, as natural wines are not filtered.

Once poured, the wine is pale pink, moderately petillant, with a low head that dissipates quickly. Light on the nose, full of rose, lemon zest, and melon. Light body in the mouth, tart citrus dominates, with a touch of peach and spice. A short dry finish leads to a wonderful mouth clearing feeling.

Naken is a great alternative to Prosecco or Cava (and at the same price point to boot) and its unique nature gives you something to discuss with your guests. Natural wines have their detractors (and some of those criticisms are valid), but this is a particularly fine example.

Charted Details

Winemaker: Biokult

From: Burgenland - Qualitätswein

Varietals: 90% Pinot Grigio, 10% Muskateller

ABV: 10.5%

Price: $20

Rating: 93 pts

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