Ried Spitzerberg 2016
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 to 500mm. The sandy limestone soils have little capacity for retaining the 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 20 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 those finest wines and call it SPITZERBERG, while the wines from younger vines are bottled as SAMT & SEIDE.
Harvest & vinification
During the warm summer of 2016 the Blaufränkisch vines just ‘shut themselves down’, and the grapes stopped 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 selected 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 the barrels. In many years we even bottle the Spitzerberg without filtration.
2016 was warm summer with nice little rainfalls now and then, which helped the vines to relax after the stressful 2015 year. The wine is very balanced, driven by an elegant minerality, with fresh aromas of red fruits, silky tannins and a very precise acidty.Download