FLC October 2022 - Natural Born Killers November 21, 2022
FLC #28: Aymeric Amiel / Domaine des Amiel November 09, 2022
FLC #27 Jean-René de Fleurieu / Château de Montfrin November 09, 2022
First Look Club
FLC #21 - Arnold Holzer / Eschenof Holzer
Arnold Holzer was 22 years old when he took over the 16-hectare family vineyard in the heart of Wagram, Austria. He and his brother Mathias are now the fourth generation to farm the Holzer land. The vineyards are filled with mineral rich soil, which allows for wines packed with character and long-lasting fruit. Holzer is in a prime position as he can make wines that are commercially viable – ready to sell soon after bottling – as well as fine wines with greater complexity and longer drinking windows.
From Grüner Veltliner and Zweigelt with craft beer-esque labels, to stunning single-vineyard bottlings such as the regionally unique Roter Veltliner, the Holzer brothers are at the cutting edge of the new Austrian wine scene. Holzer has said that most Austrian wine stays in Austria, and historically the Austrian wines that were exported were simple and cheap. Arnold is determined to show export markets the delicious and varied expressions of Austrian wine – he is also showing the Austrian market that it’s worth taking risks and tweaking tradition.
We are lucky to welcome Arnold back to our First Look Club. We first met with him back in December 2020, where we tasted his interesting ‘Das Geholz’ Röter Veltliner, a white variety many of us had never come across before. This time around, we will be tasting one of his reds, the ‘Eisenhut’ Zweigelt. For Pinot Noir fans, Zweigelt will appeal greatly to you. It’s a variety native to Austria and is an ideal cool-climate red. Zweigelt tends to produce wines that are relatively light in colour, with flavours of tart, crunchy berries and juicy acidity. The alcohol levels stay refreshingly low, so this is a perfect sipper for those slightly warmer days and long stretches in the evening coming our way in the spring.
The ‘Eisenhut’ Zweigelt comes from a single vineyard site, located at the highest point of Arnold’s vineyards. The south-facing slopes are one of the warmest sites, and this allows Arnold to achieve greater richness in wines from this site. This is actually the same vineyard that he grows his Röter Veltliner – clearly this site generates some of Arnold’s top wines! ‘Eisenhut’ is a mature example of Zweigelt. The wine spends one year in neutral oak barrels, and develops flavours of cherry, blackcurrant and dark chocolate whilst still retaining the characteristic acidity of the variety.