Moric Blaufränkisch Alte Reben Neckenmarkter 2007
Roland Velich used to work with his brother but has now set up his own new activity to focus on making Blaufränkisch from very old vines in Mittelburgenland. Roland has stimulated a lively-and sometimes heated-debate in Burgenland by challenging much of the received wisdom about the best way to make Blaufränkisch. For him it is a not a grape improved by long extraction and lots of new oak. At the risk over-simplification, he treats it more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet Sauvignon, and he describes the grape’s characteristics as closer to Northern Rhone Syrah, Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo (and perhaps he should add in Baga?). His project has taken him to Lutzmannsburg and Neckenmarkt, where virtually everything is planted with Blaufränkisch, where there are many old vines ranging in age from 40 - 100 years old, and where, for now, his operation is almost unique. Yields are tiny; the wines are grown naturally without pesticide, herbicide, and fermentations rely entirely on natural yeasts. The wines are then left on lees, largely untouched, for 15 months before bottling. They show a lightness of touch, and great complexity and elegance. They are already creating a great deal of interest in Austria and elsewhere. This wine was scored an amazing 95 points by Robert Parker.
Roland Velich's Moric winery has revolutionized the world of Blaufrankisch wines. A niche wine maker producing less than 2,500 cases of their most basic wine (the regular Blaufrankisch), and fewer than 700 cases of the celebrated Neckenmarkt and Alte Reben Blaufrankisch wines, Moric has nonetheless received wide acclaim. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate awarded Moric the most points ever received by an Austrian wine.