Let's look at a special wine: the Joiser Jungenberg, which has made a name for itself as a leading vineyard for over eight centuries. Here, the vines are ideally oriented towards the southeast, allowing the grapes to ripen early. Mica slate adorns the soil, with an additional layer of shell limestone at the bottom. Some of the most excellent and oldest Blaufränkisch vines grow here, whose grapes are used especially for this unusual red wine.
As for the ageing, both the harvest and the selection are done by hand, followed by spontaneous fermentation in wood and a remarkable ageing period of 20 months on lees in 500-litre wooden barrels. The end result? A wine in a rich black-red, which is almost opaque and plays with low purple reflections.
A fragrance that resembles a symphony rises when you open this 2016 Blaufränkisch Ried Jungenberg. Notes include sweet dark cherries, preserved blueberries, cassis liqueur, flowing dark chocolate, tar and liquorice. Black pepper, incense and violet pastilles add exciting accents, as do the distinctive characteristics of slate and shell limestone, which relate firmly to its roots. There are also hints of wild Mediterranean herbs, floral notes and spices such as juniper, cinnamon and clove, but these are only hints at present due to its youthful density.
The palate is layered and rich, pouring down with impressive power and sweetness. Here, the depth and sophistication of this Blaufränkisch is quickly revealed - a wine that leaves a powerful impression. A creature whose development in the coming years will be exciting to watch, judging by its storage potential until at least 2040.
For an optimal drinking experience, decant this wine carefully and serve slightly chilled.
My suggestion for matching dishes combines both classic and avant-garde elements. Think red chard stuffed with dried figs and pecans accompanied by an apple balsamic reduction or a roast wild pigeon served with an anise sauce and a gratin of porcini mushrooms and turnips. Or why not try a tender saddle of hare with a blackberry and juniper sauce and a velvety chestnut and parsnip purée. No matter which creation you choose, each will complement and enhance the wine beautifully.
Nittnaus Anita & Hans
Winery A & H Nittnaus, Untere Hauptstraße 49, A-7122 Gols / Austria