Frühroter Veltliner is a fruity, powerful wine with a bit of spice and hints of almonds when made into Eiswein, for which it is mostly used as the popularity of dry Frühroter Veltliner has waned in recent years, though still available.
Golden straw color. Peach custard, melon and cashew nougat aromas follow through on a round, silky entry to a dryish light-to-medium body with crisp orange note. Finishes with a slightly grassy mineral accented fade. A nice even and balanced apéritif. The early drinking, gently acidic wines are low in alcohol and present a bouquet that is mainly herbaceous with whiffs of flowers and bitter almonds.
The varietal Frühroter Veltliner most probably originated in Gumpoldskirchen, Austria. It ripens early and is therefore, in contrast to Zierfandler (late red), called fruehrot (early red).
Frühroter Veltliner is a natural cross between Roter Veltliner and Sylvaner and is related to Neuberger, from the same cross, Zierfandler and Savagnin and is used as a parent in a number of crossings. It is not, despite the similar nomenclature, related to Grüner Veltliner.
The Eyholzer Roter grape, also known as Hibou, is grown around Visp and in the village of Eyholz just to the west of Visp. It is extraordinarily rare with only 0.25 hectares left worldwide of which the only commercially available wine comes from the vineyards of Josef-Marie Chanton. This ancient variety has in the past, also been grown in Savoie in France and in northern Italy. The traditional method of growing the grape in Valais is to train it on pergolas. This wine is a medium red with a nose of mountain violets and raspberries. Soft and fruity on the palate, it is best served slightly chilled, as one would a young Beaujolais.
DNA testing has been unable to identify the parents of Eyholzer Roter.