Ried Spitzerberg 2011
Site & soil
We cultivate ten hectares of Blaufränkisch on the south-facing slope of the Spitzerberg. It is a very special place with extremely poor soils of limestone, where the annual rainfall does not usually exceed 300–500mm. The sandy limestone soils have little capacity for retaining water, which very often comes in the form of heavy thunderstorms during the month of June. In summer the Spitzerberg very often represents the heat peak of Austria’s continental climate, suffering 35°C and higher for weeks.
The ten hectares of Blaufränkisch are divided among more than twenty parcels of differing age, with slightly different exposition. We try to pick, vinify and mature them separately in order to observe their evolution. Every year the finest and most expressive (yet not the most massive) wines are made from the oldest vines, which are between 40 and 60 years old.
We select and blend these finest wines together, bottled as SPITZERBERG, while the wines from younger vines are bottled as SAMT & SEIDE.
Harvest & vinification
During the warm summer the Blaufränkisch vines just ‘shut themselves down’, and the grapes stop maturing until the first humid autumn mornings provide some nutrition. These very challenging natural conditions result in wines marked by aromas and fruit characteristics which are unique: charming aromas of red berries, violets and a spicy touch of what we tend to describe as cumin. Blaufränkisch is always marked by a rather pronounced acidity, which also guarantees a slow evolution in the bottle and a very long life.
We don’t use sulphur on the grapes; we don’t use cultured yeasts and we don’t use pumps or any other mechanical tools during maceration. A portion of the harvest is trodden by foot, while the rest is fermented in open vats, the same way as one hundred years ago. We don’t cool or heat up the must and we make only one very gentle soutirage during two years of maturation in cask. In many years we even bottle the Spitzerberg without filtration.
2011 was an extremely dry and hot summer and autumn. The tannins matured very slowly due to the lack of water. Usually we pick very early to avoid having massive wines, but in 2011 we needed to wait much longer for the tannins to become ripe. Therefore the wines of 2011 are slightly higher in alcohol than usual, and also the wines need much more time to become balanced and enjoyable with food. Despite its concentration and power, the Spitzerberg shows floral aromas and is characterised by a very refreshing acidity. A wine that certainly will have a long life.Download
- Varities Blaufränkisch 100%
- Alcohol 13,5%
- Residual Sugar 1g
- Tartaric Acid 5,9g
- Bottles 2.500 / 0,75l
- Jancis Robinson 16,5
- Vinum 15,5
- Wine Specatator 89
- Robert Parker Wine Advocate 93
- Falstaff 93
- A La Carte 95
- Wine Enthusiast 92