It was back in February this year at the annual Austrian trade tasting in London that winemaker Michael Malat first hinted that he had masterminded a new hybrid for his Crazy Creatures range. It was only one year previously that we had come across Michael's wines at the same tasting, he was exhibiting in the ‘seeking representation’ area and it was his Crazy Creature labels that first grabbed Keith’s attention. His Malat estate wines were unquestionably excellent examples of fine wines from Kremstal but it was the juxtaposition of talent to produce both traditional and contemporary wines at such a high standard that really stood out.
The brainchild of Michael Malat, Crazy Creatures’ first vintage was 2013 and three different crazy creatures were dreamt up to launch the range. When we asked Michael how his wacky concepts came to be he said simply that his vision was “to attract and intrigue wine drinkers” enough to try his wines. He took creatures that are commonly found in the vineyard (ladybirds, grasshoppers, butterflies) and paired them with creatures less associated with viticulture (beetles, dragonflies, crabs) and commissioned an artist to interpret his vision to visually encourage people to try something different. With the recent release of the 2016 vintage a forth abstract creature has been added to the label range: the Apis-Octopoda or bee and octopus.
The grapes for the wines are grown in the small Austrian village of Palt, in the wine-growing region of Kremstal. A favourite among sommeliers and wine enthusiasts alike Grüner Veltliner is the most important grape of Austria and is known for its spicy, herbal and fruity aromas and a crisp, fresh acidity. www.crazycreatures.at