ABOUT:This family run estate in the Austrian village of Schutzen has been turning heads for the last two decades with their impeccably created white and red wines. Situated on a sunny, limestone rich slope on the western side of the Lake Neusiedl is the Prieler Vineyard called Seeberg, home to their famous Pinot Blanc. Meticulous work in the vineyard (natural pest management, rigorous pruning, multiple tries) and in the winery (multiple sorting, pied de cuve) has won them accolades from many respected wine journalists. The youngest, Georg, has begun the conversion from organic viticulture to biodynamics and I suspect the quality of the future wines from Prieler will be off the chart.
TASTE:Blaufrankisch is a red grape made into wine in Austria and Germany (called Lemberger in Germany). The styles can vary from producer to producer, but generally have Pinot Noir fruit flavors and many characteristics associated with Syrah; earthiness, pepper, medium- tannins, cedar, etc. Prieler Blaufrankisch is from a very special region called Leithaberg, a series of rolling limestone hills heading towards Lake Neusiedl. It’s so super special that the wines are classified DAC, a classification that designates a specific region and strictures like grape variety, oak usage, alcohol content, and length of ageing. Whatever with all that, this wine is different and exciting. It bummed out a friend whose ideal wine is big Cabs from Washington State. This ain't that.
The vibe of this wine is striking right off the bat. Fresh, lifted aromas and flavors of cherry and blackberry, a light buzz of cedar indicating well-integrated oak, and reedy herbs. The tannins are medium-ish and the acidity is zingy and mouthwatering. In summer months you could chill it down five degrees and be very happy. In winter months don’t chill it but consume it with hearty fare, and repeat for probably twenty years.
PAIR:Roasted Shitake mushrooms stacked on top of mashed potatoes, Linzer tort (what the hell), goulash, and roasted root vegetables.