Spern Steiner 2002 — Kékfrankos
A Wine That
shows why Blaufränkisch (Kékfrankos in Hungarian) — and indeed the vineyard from which this comes — is capable of producing some of the world's finest red wines. This is structured and brooding; all about bramble berrries, fresh blackcurrants, earth, and that lovely twist of tobacco and leather that comes with age. We're honoured to have this rare older vintage from the winemaker, and hope you enjoy the journey it takes you on as much as we do.
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- Winemaker: Franz Weninger
Where and How?
From a very special vineyard - Steiner - in Sopron, this is Franz's jewel. Planted in 1964 during the Communist era, it was initially designed for uge Russian tractors to pass through, meaning the spacing between rows is very wide. This isn't ideal for yields - making the wine even more rare - but the vineyard isn't about to go anywhere: you can see from Franz's eyes that this is his baby. The soils are also rare to see: gneiss and mica schist. He remembers,
"2006 was a different time - I was still extracting a little more, the grapes were destemmed and punched down, so there's a bit more more tannin here, and it's slightly bigger in style. It was aged in 500L barrels, with some new wood. What's fascinating here is that with the time ageing, the winemaking goes away and you see the essence of the place... this wine always reminds me of the Northern Rhône, almost the Syrah side of Blaufränkisch: dried olive, orange zest and herbs."
Franz could literally be characterized as a crossover-artist. He is the sort of winemaker that is deeply rooted in his region, believing in the tradition of indigenous varieties like Blaufränkisch, while at the same time never shying away to experiment with new ideas and techniques that could lead him to exciting results.
Franz and his family stand out for their conviction to the recultivation of long-forgotten vineyard sites on the border to Austria in the Hungarian village of Balf, once the epicentre of the region's winemaking production. For him, the history of the area is beyond today’s political boundaries - he is a firm believer of the Pannonian cultural heritage and is eager to transmit this message in all of his bottlings, both those made in Austria and those in Hungary.