Weingut Wachter-Wiesler Sudburgenland Bela-Joska Blaufrankisch 2017
The winery named this Blaufränkisch after family fathers Béla Wachter and Jóska Wiesler; the fruit is from each family's vineyards in Deutsch-Scheützen and Eisenberg. The vines average 30-50 years old. After a 30 day fermentation, the wine is aged for 13 months in large wooden barrels (500 – 3000 liters). Medium ruby color. On the palate the wine has notes of black raspberry, spices, and a fresh mineral component.
Christoph Wachter began working at his family winery in 2008 when he was just 20 years old. He took over full responsibility in 2010, and now farms 14 hectares of vineyards in Südburgenland, in the towns of Eisenberg and Deutsch Schützen.
The biggest difference between Burgenland and Südburgenland is the soil. In Mittelburgenland, the area was under the ancient Pannonian sea and the soil is mostly limestone. In Südburgenland, the vines grow in primary rock, and the most prized terroir is the green schist of the Eisenberg hill, regarded as one of the finest sites for producing Blaufränkisch in Austria, producing wines of great finesse and focus. The Eisenberg DAC was extended to include wines from the surrounding villages, including Deutsch-Schutzen, where you find iron rich loam. Deutsch-Schützen’s soils, while similar, are denser with a deeper layer of loam, resulting in darker spicier wines with softer tannins. Südburgenland is cooler than Mittelburgenland and there are rolling hillsides, small mountains really, called the pre-Alps, topped with forest; this regulates the temperature, another aspect of the micro-climate of Südburgenland. Harvest here tends to start two weeks after Mittelburgenland.
When Christoph started in 2010, he stopped using herbicides and pesticides entirely. Today, Christoph is one of only three producers in Südburgenland who is farming organically. He allows the weeds to grow in his vineyards, as they attract beneficial insects and eventually return to the soil as nutrients themselves. Rather than add fertilizer, he leaves the vines to extract what they need from the soil itself, thus instilling the wines with minerality and allowing them to express their unique terroir.
Only native yeasts are used in the cellar. Christoph uses upwards of 20-30% whole-cluster, and ages in large barrels that allow the wines to mature gracefully without obscuring them with oak flavors. The resulting wines are incredibly elegant, expressive, superlative expressions of Blaufränkisch that should age well, though they are drinking well right now. We are excited by the Wachter-Wiesler wines with each new vintage release. The Wachter-Wiesler wines always have a characteristic silky texture, floral aromatics and elegance: truly Blaufränkisch at its finest.
The source of Austria’s finest botrytized sweet wines, Burgenland covers a lofty portion of Austria's wine producing real estate. It encompasses the smaller regions of Neusiedlersee, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland. The latter two are most associated with their exceptional red wines. The region as a whole produces no shortage of important whites.
Neusiedlersee, named for the lake that it surrounds to the east, is home to a great diversity of grape varieties. The region’s most notable wines, however, are the botrytis-infected, sweet versions.
Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, which wraps the lake on its western side, includes the town of Rust, a historically esteemed wine community. Its close proximity to the lake’s fog and mist make it another source of some of the more prestigious botrytized wines. Neusiedlersee-Hügelland also produces fine Blaufränkisch, Pinot Blanc, Neuburger and Grüner Veltliner, though a label will usually name the more general, Burgenland, so as not to confuse it with its eastern cousin, Neusiedlersee, across the lake.
Blaufränkisch is well suited to and makes up over half of the vineyard area in Mittelburgenland. The region’s hills and plateaus, which are composed of variations in schist, loess and clay-limestone, produce high quality reds with interesting diversity.
Südburgenland, also known for its deep, complex and age-worthy Blaufränkisch, is beginning to turn out some alluring whites from Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc).
Inky magenta with aromas of violets, herbs and spices, Blaufrankisch first appeared in Austria in the 18th century and today is the second most planted red variety in Austria after its own offspring, Zweigelt. Blaufrankisch thrives in the warmer Austrian zones and while most of the global acreage remains here, the variety has travelled a bit outside of its homeland. Somm Secret—In pre-Medieval times grapes were divided into superior quality, those whose origins lay with the Franks, called “Frankisch,” and all others, which were deemed inferior. This well-revered grape took the name, blau (meaning blue or dark) plus, “Frankisch,” or Blaufrankisch.