Every Since The Real Housewine spread her love of orange wine throughout Instagram last October with creating its own national holiday, I’ve been seeking out this deliciously funky treat whenever available. Unfortunately, there isn’t a huge variety of orange wine in Miami – I had such a hard time finding it to celebrate the holiday – so I was glad to find Meinklang’s J14 2014 in a local wine shop.
Meinklang is an original, family-run mixed farm, set in Burgenland, Austria, in the middle of the World Heritage Site of the National Park Neusiedlersee, on the Eastern side of the Neusiedlersee Lake, bordering directly on the Hungarian lowlands. It is comprised of the three typical fields of a Pannonian farmstead in East Austria south of capital town Vienna: wine-growing, fruits, and agriculture. Each family member is specialized in an aspect of farming. The estate even owns Angus & Aubrac cattle herd, which supplies the farm with its own organic fertilizer for lively soils in the vineyards. The farm’s diversity is also enriched by ancient grains such as spelt, farro, and Einkorn wheat, as well as the fruit orchards and vegetable gardens, meadows of wild herbs and flowers, and, of course, the grapevines.
This was my first Hungarian wine, so I was quite excited. It was made of 100% Juhfark (you heard right) from Somló region in Hungary. In German, Juhfark is called “sheep tail,” because the long, bowed form of the grape bunch. This wine spends about 4-5 days on skins then aged 24 months in used Hungarian barrels, and 12 months in bottle. The wine was unfined, unfiltered, and had no added sulphites.
The wine was cloudy gold in color, with almost a light amber hue. I noticed that with each passing day that the bottle was open, the color started getting darker in hue – more bronze in tone. It had a very strong nose, almost like a medicinal vibe or tea, with white ripe fruit. It had a complex palate with notes of yellow cherries, grapefruit rind, citrus, wheat, minerality, and pineapple. It had a nice balance of acidity and it was dry. I enjoyed its funkiness and complexity, but I wouldn’t recommend this as a starter orange wine for a newbie. You gotta be able to enjoy the funk. I found it at Abaco Wine in the Miami Design District for $25. I paired it with some kisses from my pooch and some outdoor relaxation.