Claus Preisinger &

Claus Preisinger 'Puszta Libre' 2022

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Press 4 Mix / Press 4 Red • June 2023 Direct Press Selection

Claus Preisinger is a veteran of our wine club at this point, and for good reason. Claus was destined to be a winemaker growing up the son of a winemaker on the shores of Lake Neusiedl in the wine region of Burgenland, Austria. After studying at the Higher Federal Institute for Viticulture and Winegrowing in Klosterneuburg he set out for a few years to gain experience around the globe, after which he came back to his native Austria where he worked next to Hans Nittnaus, in the village of Gols.

 

During his time with Nittnaus, Claus started making his own wines at his parents’ winery crystalizing his style and vision. Claus eventually took over and expanded his family’s estate focusing primarily on local grape varieties Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt, Gruner Veltliner, and Saint Laurent. His estate has been certified Biodynamic since 2006 by Respekt Biodyn, a well known biodynamic label in Germany and Austria.

Claus eschews the use of any cultivated yeast, and only uses small or zero doses of sulfur. He chooses to age many of his wines in amphora instead of wooden barrels to narrow winemaking down to the essentials of the grape and the soil.

Puszta Libre! Is made of 60% Zweigelt, 20% St. Laurent, 20% Pinot Noir. The name derives from the several plots that the grapes come from around Lake Neusiedl where the soil is composed of Limestone and Gravel. The age of the vines ranges from 9-40 years. The wine is vinified in stainless steel, fermented with native yeasts, and is unfined and unfiltered. The wine is aged for six months prior to bottling, half in stainless steel and half in neutral wooden barrels.

I had been seeing this wine around and initially dismissed it because of the bottle and label’s resemblance to Coca-Cola’s bottles. It wasn’t until my recent visit to Copenhagen in November 2022 that I was able to track a bottle down, where the abundance of Austrian natural wine makes me wonder if they have anything but Austrian wines. Being familiar with Claus from our wine club I was immediately excited to share this with my travel companions. We were all very captivated with this selection. It was fun, light, and immediately quaffable. Reminiscent of fun unserious beaujolais or easy going Oregon pinot, with a slight more nerve and playfulness. This is serious summer juice!

This wine is possibly the pluckiest of the bunch with a tad bit more fruit and concentration. On the nose I was immediately enticed by cherry and strawberry notes, with a hint of rose petals and garden herbs. The crispness and crunchiness of the fruit is readily apparent here with bright and acidic cherry, a bit of salinity, slightly tart, and a bit of adult punch vibe. Definitely a great pairing for burgers, tacos, and picnics.

 Jeremy Hernandez

Order before noon and get it the same day — anywhere in Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan for just $15. 

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