ExtrabrutBubbly Joy of a Special Kind

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Extrabrut Champagner Wien
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www.extrabrut.at

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At a recent champagne gala, one booth really grabbed my attention- what was by far the most charismatic team there belonged to Extrabrut, who strike it big with unknown names more than anything else. For the first time that evening, my interest was really piqued. Rainer Huchler, the man behind the table, is an architect whose love lies with champagne. There was our connection!

Having always been enthusiastic about the "best drink in the world", it was on one wine journey that he discovered a number of excellent vintages that people in this country had never heard of. Thus, he decided to bring these discoveries into the light of a larger public. There are many wine merchants, but not so many who are specialised in sparkling wines of the highest rarity. What’s more, he’s got a particular proclivity for wineries that employ biodynamic production, often exclusively with their own grape.

He also has a special soft spot for "Fleury", the oldest certified organic winegrower in the Champagne region. I was able to try three of their wines, all 100% pinot noirs, and while I can’t tell by the taste that they’re organic, I feel good knowing so! Here it’s not about mass quantities, but rather a very special kind of joy. In every aspect. And in abundance. Of the four largest production regions, Extrabrut represents three already.

I stand before the Franciacortas with slightly more scepticism. Until now, I haven’t really been able to warm up to Italian sparkling wines. But Rainer Huchler wins me over with a Franciacorta Bagnadore Pas Dosè Riserva 2008 from the "Barone Pizzini" home. Had someone served it as a champagne, I wouldn’t have questioned it. Softly pearly, it leaves a tingly trace on my gums and an enchanted smile on my face. I, for my part, would certainly dare another Franciacorta and am excited to try more.

They store their wares in an old, abandoned electrical transformer building that had been empty for years- a small floor space, but as the good man likes to joke, the sky’s the limit! This unusual harbourage stands in Muntlix in Vorarlberg near the Swiss border. Rainer Huchler lives there himself and sends out his handpicked sparkling wines to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Extrabrut is first and foremost an online shop, but anyone who makes the journey out to Muntlix will find Rainer Huchler waiting in his transformer building with open doors. Listening to him speak about the quality of his selection, it’s clear that he has very high respect for his winemakers. I had a lot of fun listening to him and leave with a new lust for champagnes and other sparkling wines. Cava is his next project. We can hardly wait to see!

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