Ried Ratschen 2015 — Blaufränkisch
A Wine That
toys with what Blaufränkisch can create in a wine; this has fine grained, elegant, pinprick tannins, with a more brooding flavour profile, like being in the thick of the forest. Bramble and wild strawberries are king here, with wet earth, pine needles, peonies and roses bringing up the rear. It's a wine that evokes gardens and meadows rather than fruits or orchards.
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- Winemaker: Christoph Wachter-Wiesler
Where and How?
From the Eisenberg DAC - meaning Iron Mountain, due to its green schist soils with high iron content - this is Blaufränkisch from a special NE facing single vineyard of 57-year-old vines on sandy pebble soils. Farmed organically.
As the vineyard faces north, the fruit is harvested on average a week later than the Weinberg vineyard, which faces south. The slightly cooler site tends to bring something more linear to the wine. The wine fermented naturally and was aged for 24 months in 2000L barrels with small amounts of sulphur being the only addition.
The Wachter-Wiesler wines saw a radical change in style when Christoph took the winemaking reins from his parents, but instead of becoming more radically affected by the winemaking, the opposite occurred; the wines became more subtle and dialled-in to their source—the vineyards. The hand of the human stepped back and instead the voice of the fruit itself became louder.
Today, the Blaufränkisch wines they produce are amongst the most nuanced versions found in Austria; they compete with the famed ability of Pinot Noir to express their site. As for the 15% white grapes that they work with—this cellar has become home to some of the most thrilling examples of Welschriesling since they flipped their way of thinking.
Most importantly of all, the domaine has led by example with regards to healthy viticulture. The soils thrive and the cover crop & wildflowers bloom throughout the year, providing homes and food for a swathe of beneficial insects. The change has been so positive than Christoph hasn’t noticed herbicide use by other growers in the area for two years; a giant step in the world of Sudburgenland’s vineyards.