Velich Tiglat Chardonnay 2001, 750 mlfrom Velich (View all)
“Tiglat” is the name of Heinz Velich’s oldest vineyard with vines planted in 1959. In fact, it is one of the oldest Chardonnay vineyards in all of Austria. There is some debate as to where the vineyard got its name: if the word is Hungarian, then it might mean “fat ground”, which makes perfect sense when you taste this big big wine. Alternately, the vineyard might be named for the Syrian king who passed by a long long time ago, which is also appropriate when you consider its elegant, almost noble structure.
At any rate, these old vines create a beautiful wine with good fruit and fine mineral notes, and with aging (10-20 years) it will develop more of the typical notes of a Chardonnay. Very strict selection was employed and then half of the wine spent 18 months in 225 liter oak barriques, when it then joined the rest in steel tanks for an additional two months, on the yeast, and then directly into the bottle without filtration.
Vintner Heinz Velich points out that in its youth the oak will lend the character, but with some aging there will be more harmony, fruit depth, and influences by the terroir and climate of the Seewinkel. He also points out notes of vanilla, ripe peaches and yeast when the wine is young, which will then “ripen” and develop into secondary aromas and greater body. He recommends matching it to a lobster risotto or other similarly hearty meals. 3000 bottles produced.
Heinz Velich and his Tiglat Chardonnay were recently featured on the cover of Austria’s premier wine magazine, Falstaff.
|Wine Enthusiast||89 - “Top-notch Austrian Chardonnay, with lovely aromas of citrus and honey-nut Cheerios matched by lemon custard and toasted whole-grain flavors. Layered and rich, yet balanced by zesty acidity.”|
|Falstaff Wine Guide||92|
|A la Carte||91 - “Gold yellow, deep, ripe and dense. Juicy, hearty, compact and long, lively acid, quite long in its finish.”|
|Bottle size (ml)||750 ml|
|Residual Sugar||1.1 g/l|
|Cellar potential||now to 2021|
The respected wine magazine Falstaff recently featured Heinz Velich as their cover story, and his dry white and dessert wines are the reason why. His 22 acres in the heart of the Neusiedler Lake Seewinkel nature reserve in the village of Apetlon are planted only with white wine grapes (45% Chardonnay, 45% Welschriesling, and 10% split between Muskat-Ottonel and Bouvier) which turn out an annual production of 5000 cases (75% dry white, 25% sweet) The village is surrounded by many small ponds, called “puddles,” which create the microclimate magic here: they act as reflectors, beaming the sunlight onto the vines, ripening the grapes fat and full. In general, the Welschriesling and Muskat-Ottonel dry wines are vinified in stainless steel tanks, and the mighty Chardonnays are fermented and aged in oak barriques. The dessert wines are primarily raised in barriques as well, but are only made in years where the utmost quality is assured.
In the “Wine Report 2004” (ed. Tom Stevenson, Austria focus Dr.Phillip Blom) the 1997 Tiglat Chardonnay is listed in the top-ten ‘Greatest-Quality Wines’, and Falstaff calls the 2002 vintage the best since then. Europeans have been grabbing up this wine for some years now, and the 2001 vintage marked its U.S. debut.
Burgenland is made up of 4 "sub-areas" and covers 19,215 hectares, which is about 48,000 acres. The dominating geographical influence here is the Neusiedler Lake (Neusiedlersee), and the 4 subdivided areas are called Southern Burgenland (Südburgenland), Central Burgenland (Mittelburgenland), Neusiedler Lake (Neusiedlersee) and the Neusiedler Lake Highlands (Neusiedlersee-Hügelland)
From the northernmost Neusiedlersee area comes full-bodied white wines, including the countries best Chardonnays. This is also an area where great red wines are produced, including those from the "Pannobile" co-operative who age their wines in oak.
Due to the vineyards proximity to the lake and their location in the hot Pannonian climate zone, their grapes more often than not develop the "noble rot" (botrytis cinerea) which creates heady dessert wines. The region stretches along the Hungarian border, right across which Tokaji is being made.
The town of Rust, in the Neusiedler Lake Highlands, is where the famous Ruster Ausbruch dessert wine is made. This is also where storks come to roost every year, building their enormous nests on the roof of every building along the main roads. They make a clicking sound which is somewhere between a woodpecker and a jackhammer, and as you sit at the heuriger (wine garden) drinking the afternoon away, the potential cacophony becomes something of a symphony.
Powerful wines from the sunny banks of the narrow steppe lake known itself as Neusiedlersee. The hot and dry climate of the eastern banks, known as the Heideboden, offers ideal conditions for growing memorable wines in the categories red, white and nobly sweet. Weissburgunder, Chardonnay and Neuburger yield rich and ageworthy white wines, while the Zweigelt is the most prominent red variety, found in the bottle frequently in the company of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In the town of Gols, the growers' association Pannobile has done much to raise the reputation of the local red wines, and the recent influence of Biodynamics has had a very positive influence on Blaufränkisch produced in the region, rendering it more expressive and less oaky.