Lake Neusiedl, Burgenland
The Steiner site in Sopron lies at the southwestern tip of Lake Neusiedl on a gentle, eastward-facing slope. In the 1680 town chronicles this site was classified as the finest and most valuable vineyard in all of western Hungary (present-day Burgenland). The gneiss and mica schist, which are present all the way to the surface, make the soil porous and thus dry and warm.
To understand how special this vineyard is to Franz Weninger, you need to hear it directly from him: “[This is] The place where I've spent most of my time. This is the vineyard that I've been cultivating for the longest. If there were only one wine I would show someone, this would be it."
Coming from 50+ year old vines, this Blaufrankisch is hand-harvested, fermented in a mix of wooden and concrete vats and then aged for 24 months in 500L barrels. Just 4600 bottles were produced of this highly intriguing, immensely complex and layered red. There's a palpable spiciness right at the forefront, revealing earth, plum, chocolate, cherry, pepper and leather. Honestly, if you tasted this blind, you would kinda have to assume that you're drinking some high-level Cru barolo. It has that kind of intensity, length and elegance. Phenomenal!
Aging potential: 5-7 years. Decant at least 30 minutes ahead of consuming.
Ideal as an end of evening sipper to be enjoyed with a board of mature cheeses and game meat-based charcuterie. As a dinner pairing, it's beautiful with roasted game meats, seared lamb chops, Hungarian Goulash or even a beautiful Amatriciana pasta.