Langenlois Grosse Reserve Blanc de Blancs
Langenlois turns into a Sekt Metropolis
He simply couldn’t resist his fascination with bubbles. In 1991, Fred Loimer, the Langenlois winegrower, had experimented with bottle fermentation to produce Sekt. Three years later, he launched his first Winzersekt (grower sparkling wine) on the market.
Fred Loimer is radiant: his first Grande Reserve Sekt will be released to the market in October © Niklas Stadler
Much has happened since then. Loimer set up a winery to give his wines time and space. Then he converted the entire estate to biodynamic farming so that the wines would achieve even more liveliness and authentic expression. And he continued to advance the process of sparkling wine production even further. His two Sekt wines, Extra Brut Reserve and Brut Rosé Reserve, have been successfully on the market for several years now. Both sparklings are made for the most part from the Zweigelt and Pinot Noir varieties and present a clear, puristic direction. Now comes the tip of Loimer’s Sekt pyramid on the market: the Grosse Reserve, made entirely of white wine grapes grown solely in Langenlois.
Langenlois Blanc de Blancs Grosse Reserve (Grande Reserve). From Fred Loimer © Weingut Loimer
What makes this sparkling wine so special?
Hand-picked grapes from cool and mineral-rich vineyard sites are the basis for this Grosse Reserve. The vineyard parcels were specifically selected by Fred Loimer: located at an elevation of 280 to 380 meters and with a view over Langenlois, the soils here are comprised primarily of loess (which provides excellent water storage) and gneiss (responsible for the puristic, angular character). Responsible for the freshness and the dynamic acidity is the continental climate bringing hot summer days along with the cool nights sent from forests in the Waldviertel region to the north. The varieties Chardonnay (85%), Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris ensure the elegance and creaminess of the Sekt. And its poise and harmony – that’s the result of biodynamic farming.
The base wine for the 2013 vintage was first fermented in steel tanks. In June of the following year, Loimer filled the base wine into Sekt bottles for the second fermentation; following four years of maturing on the lees, the sparkling wine was finally hand riddled and disgorged in June 2018. Since there was no sweetness added to the Sekt at the disgorgement stage, it is a “Brut Nature” with a natural residual sugar level of 3 g per liter, 7.7 g / l of acidity and 12% alcohol. Another special feature: the sparkling wine is bio-dynamically certified according to respekt-BIODYN.
Optimum conditions in Langenlois. Warm air from the Danube River Valley and cool air masses from the wooded Waldviertel region © Robert Herbst, www.pov.at
What do the experts say?
“Complex and dense with a nice reduction of fruit and the typical brioche fragrance that represents a long maturation on the lees,” said Stephan Reinhardt, Champagne reviewer of Robert Parker Wine Advocate, describing the Grosse Reserve that Fred Loimer presented to importers and international sommeliers in a preview on September 3rd.
“It’s not a superficially fruity or showy Austrian Sekt, but rather a very fine, elegant, terroir-accented sparkling wine whose salty finish is absolutely stimulating and gives the wine an extraordinary length and complexity that will unfold into great finesse over the years,” explained Reinhardt. “Loimer’s Grosse Reserve is already reflecting the excellence of the particular terroir, but it will take another two or three years of development until this Langenlois Sekt reveals its real class and greatness which will then last for years – just like finest champagnes, which can age over decades without showing any signs of tiredness.”
“One should expect three years from the date of disgorgement, which is indicated on the back label,” explains Fred Loimer. “Ideally the Grosse Reserve goes into the basement now, and then the bottle can be opened at Christmas 2020 at the earliest.”
Chardonnay is the primary grape variety in Loimer’s Grande Reserve © Robert Herbst
Loimer’s Langenlois Blanc de Blancs Grosse Reserve will be released to the market in mid-October 2018 and will be available at the winery (Haindorfer Vögerlweg 23, 3550 Langenlois, email@example.com) und in the onlineshop (www.loimer-shop.at) or at selected retailers for 30 euros.