Leithaberg Blaufrankisch, Prieler
In lighter vintages, like this one, the top wines Marienthal and Goldberg are not produced. Instead, Georg Prieler takes the fruit from those sites and makes a declassified Grand Cru wine with Leithabirge on the label. This was done in 2010 as well, and that vintage has aged beautifully and is still quite young. The wine was fermented (using only indigenous yeasts) in open top Austrian oak fermenters without skins for several weeks before being racked into 500L Stockinger casks for aging.
++ “It has all the fruit from the Goldberg and Marienthal, for the first time since the marvelous 2010, and this is pretty freaking ridiculous, maybe his best ever. For many growers this could be their top wine. BF at its explosive, sweet and ornery best! Blackberries and candied violets, peppers riding a wave of shimmering acidity, giving an irresistible juiciness; like herbs strewn into a sizzling skillet, or the outer crusty knuckle of a lamb roast. Then to the name: Leithaberg is the name of the little massif of hill that’s the border between Burgenland (to the south) and Carnuntum. The south-facing slope is decently steep and the soils are limestony. Some years ago a group of growers set about to use the name to denote “reserve” quality cuvées that would demonstrate as much mineral flavor as possible. Oak wasn’t forbidden but its flavor was. The idea was the variety in its soil. Both reds and whites were made. The program seemed to shape-shift, and the name “Leithaberg” was affixed to the (dreaded) “DAC,” and so now it’s used by everyone. I don’t know about the other growers, but for Prieler it constitutes a classic mid-range wine, which paradoxically is over-endowed in “poor” vintages when the top Crus aren’t bottled.” – Terry Theise
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