“It’s not enough for Roland Velich of Moric to be the premier producer of Blaufränkisch—his “Reserve” bottling elevates Blaufränkisch, and the Burgenland, to a new level of international importance.”
In the glass, it is a deep ruby leaning to purple/black, reminiscent of Northern Rhône Syrah.
The aromas also summon the Northern Rhône a bit, with scents of blackberry, pomegranate, grilled herbs, violets, and licorice.
Because of its appearance, you’ll be expecting a “big” wine, but while the fruit is dark, even black, the wine is balanced, medium-plus in body, and firmly structured. Younger expressions have a nice saturation of fruit and earth without an overabundance of tannin (making them approachable on release), and with time, the exotic spices and minerality emerge more fully, as the texture softens to Burgundy-like silkiness.
Roland Velich has become an internationally recognized wine celebrity for his work with old-vine Blaufränkisch in Austria’s Burgenland DAC. His assortment of reds, including several single-vineyard bottlings of the variety, are widely considered to be the Gold Standard in the zone.
The Burgenland appellation, running along Austria’s border with Hungary southeast of Vienna, has a diverse topography and a mix of soils, with more primary rock and slate at higher locations and dense loams in the rolling hills that extend toward the Pannonian plain (a warming influence that is important in getting the late-ripening Blaufränkisch fully mature). Moric’s organically farmed vineyards—Velich has farmed organically since he founded the brand but has not sought certifications—with significant (50-100 years) age, are situated primarily in the Mittelburgenland sub-region; Velich describes the soils as varied, with some limestone and slate mixed in with loam, with vine age for this entry-level bottling ranging from eight to 50 years.
Moric’s “Reserve” represents a selection of the very best old-vine fruit from the vineyards in Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsburg. It underwent a native yeast fermentation in open-topped oak and steel vats, followed by 24 months of aging in barrels ranging in size from 500 to 3,600 liters. Bottled without fining and filtration and with only a minimal sulfur addition, the wine is soulful, pure and soil-expressive, with a structure reminiscent of Grand Cru Burgundy (even if the fruit skews much darker). This isn’t a merely “unique,” or “unusual” red—it’s an international benchmark!
|Units of Alcohol per Bottle
|Now to 2030+ decant for 1-2 hours before serving