The all-new (to us) Gut Oggau, Maskerade Sparkling Rose 2018 is an absolute beauty!! The terroir a wine springs from defines its essential qualities. When Eduard Tscheppe and Stephanie Eselböck-Tscheppe took over the estate that became Gut Oggau in 2007, they wanted to not only let the terroir express itself as wine, but to communicate the differences in terroir through the wines’ names and labels. The Gut Oggau family was born. Each bottle’s label features a line-drawn black and white portrait of a fictional family character. The family has three generations – the younger generations come from younger vines, the older generations from older vines. Back labels explain the imagined personality of the wine personified. We learn that Mechthild (a white wine, and the matriarch) is “the ‘kind-hearted grandmother’ of nostalgia that one trusts, but she can be secretive and polarise opinion”. We also learn that Athanasius (a red wine, a grandchild and “an attractive young man”) is “exceptionally popular” but that he “still retains some hidden qualities, which make him even more interesting”. Emmeram (a Gerwürztraminer), incidentally, is convinced that the daughter of Wiltrude – Theodora – is actually his. This new family (Maskerade Sparkling Rose) member is not a crazy second bottling of the Gut Oggau series, but instead a very unique bottling. Notes of watermelon, cranberry, yeast, cucumber, earth and dried herbs. Takes a few minutes to open up fully and wonderful when it does!