Spern Steiner 2006 — Kékfrankos
A Wine That
shows the incredible aging potential of Central Europe’s prime red variety. The Steiner vineyard is the OG of premium terroir back in the times of the Austro-Hungarian empire - so famous it became the go-to vineyard for the Royal Habsburg family. It's an etherial and pure interpretation of Kékfrankos - a textbook cool-climate red wine.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- 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 is a winemaker who follows his nose. His winemaking and farming methods are modified and adapted every year and evolve continuously, in tandem with the development of his thoughts and mindset. He emphasises that the end to his agricultural and vinous education is nowhere in sight. This is part of what Franz loves about winemaking: the cultural journey. Franz is from a long line of many generations of farmers in the Burgenland, Austria. His grandfather, and those before him, had worked in polyculture: they had four or five hectares of vineyards, but also farmed wheat and beans and raised cows for milk and meat. His father was the first to focus on wine, buying more vineyards in Austria and in Hungary, after the iron curtain fell.
Franz's own journey thus far has involved defending the indigenous varieties of the regions in which he works, exploring many different winemaking techniques, and a switching to biodynamics. For the future, he is starting to contemplate how to work with a nod to poylculture again, through the idea of harvesting and selling his cover crops.