Tasting: Juicy, lightly fizzy, candied red fruit, blackberry, subtle earth. Pairing: Sausage and potatoes, roasted duck, mussels with tomatoes and garlic.
Grape: Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch
The creation of the Zweigelt variety in the 1920's by Professor Fritz Zweigelt, a crossing between Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent, only really gained recognition after the Second World War. Nowadays, Zweigelt is the most widespread red wine variety in Austria and can be found across sites in all of the wine-producing regions of the country.
The wine spectrum ranges from young-drinking, non-wood-matured versions to strong, firm wines from the barrique. The variety is also often used as a partner for cuvée wines. In Carnuntum and Lake Neusiedl, Zweigelt frequently yields attractively opulent wines. The variety demands little from the soil but, because it is a very fertile grape, requires intensive leaf work and yield regulation. If there is potassium deficiency, high yield stress and a series of other stress factors (such as water and nutrient stress, waterlogging, imbalanced leaf to fruit ratio, extreme temperatures) the grapes wither during the ripening phase. Reasons for this have not yet been discovered.
Blaufrankisch is grown across central Europe and is primarily found in the central european countries of Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Slovakia. This variety was first documented in the 18th century in Austria. At that time, in what was then Germany, it had the name of Lemberger or Limberger, which was derived from the town of Limberg – today Maissau – in Niederösterreich. In Hungary known as Kékfrankos.
In Slovenia, the grape is known as Modra Frankinja. At present, there are 2,759,316 reeds of Blaufrankish that are planted in Slovenia, which grow on almost 700 hectares of wine-growing areas.This represents 4.68 percent of all plantations in the country. The variety of Blue Frankish is spread in two wine-growing regions Podravje and Posavje. It's the fourth most common variety of red grapes in Slovenia.
The typical palate of this late ripening variety is characterized by deep wood berry or cherry tones, and reveals its characteristic acidity. Blaufränkisch can yield wines with dense structure and prominent tannins. The wines are often aggressive in their youth, but develop velvety facets when sufficiently ripe. Fuller, stronger versions have good ageing potential.
Region: Burgenland, Austria
Burgenland is the third-smallest of Austria's nine states, or Bundesländer, at 1,530 sq miles. The highest point in the province is exactly on the border with Hungary, on the Geschriebenstein, at 2,900 feet above sea level. The name Burgenland means "castle land" due to the large number of castles in the region. The territory of present-day Burgenland was successively part of the Roman and Hun Empires.
Burgenland borders the Austrian state of Styria to the southwest, and the state of Lower Austria to the northwest. To the east it borders Hungary. In the extreme north and south there are short borders with Slovakia and Slovenia respectively. Burgenland and Hungary share the Neusiedler See, a lake known for its reeds and shallowness, as well as its mild climate throughout the year. The Neusiedler See is Austria's largest lake, and is a great tourist attraction, bringing ornithologists, sailors, and wind and kite surfers into the region north of the lake.v
Farming: Certified biodynamic
Vinification: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. Fermentation takes place in used 500 and 1200-liter barrels, and the juice spends about 3 weeks in contact with the skins. The wine goes through elevage in the same barrels for about 12 months, with no batonnage. The wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with zero addition of sulfur.
About the Winemaker: Gut Oggau is a project in the small town of Oggau in Burgenland, Austria, started by Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe in 2007. Before starting the winery, Eduard made conventional wine with his father in Styria, and Stephanie’s family owned and operated the Michelin starred restaurant Taubenkobel. They painstakingly restored the 17th century winery that had been abandoned for 20 years, including its 200-year-old screw press. The vines’ 20-year period of neglect was fortunate, as this allowed for all pesticide and chemical treatments to be washed away. This let them begin working immediately on vines biodynamically, where they are now fully Demeter certified.
When they began to work with the wines in the cellar, they noticed that each wine seemed so alive with its own personality, that they decided to craft labels centered around the personality inside each bottle. Thus they created a family of wines: each wine is given a name of one family member and the artist Jung von Matt draws a face for each label. The children, Atanasius, Theodora, and Winifred, are wines that are more forthright, light, bold and energetic. The parents, Joschuari, Emmeram, Timotheus, and Josephine, come from vineyards with a little more direct sun exposure and therefore more ripeness producing wines with more body and power. And finally the grandparents, Mechtild and Bertholdi, are from two single vineyards of older vines that produce the most traditional wines from their lineup. Most of the vineyards are field blended, and therefore there is little mention of grape varieties here, but they do work with 6 main grape varieties– Blaufrankish, Zweigelt Grüner Veltliner, Welchriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and Gewurtzraminer.