2020 Moric Blaufränkisch

Burgenland, Austria

Many of our regular customers know of my love for light, juicy, chillable reds and my affinity for referring to them as “crunchy”.

crunch·y /ˈkrən(t)SHē/
1. making a sharp noise when bitten or crushed and (of food) pleasantly crisp.

At the end of February, I was at Major Tom with some girlfriends and asked my friend Brad, their sommelier, to pick a super crunchy red for us and to throw a chill on it. After we finished our Champagne, Brad reappeared with the 2019 Moric Blaufränkisch and it was everything I was hoping for and more; I fell in love instantly! Problem was though, that only a tiny amount comes to Alberta each vintage and Brad had scooped all of the 2019 for the restaurant (rightfully so, I’d have taken it all for Bricks had I known about it). It was one of my favourite things that I’d drunk so far in 2022… until the 2020 became available!

Since 2001 Roland Velich has been crafting world-class wine from Blaufränkisch. He is determined to show that this indigenous Austrian grape has as much finesse and elegance as Pinot Noir from Burgundy. Again and again, he has proven this to be true. Vintage after vintage these are beyond a doubt gorgeous, refined wines. As such, they've been consistently lauded by the estimable likes of Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson and James Suckling, with The New York Times' Eric Asimov summing it up quite simply by calling Moric "a star in this world."

Made in an early-drinking style from 'younger' vines (10-50 years old) grown on limestone, primary rock, and loam from Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsburg. Fermented in open vats and steel tank. A wonderful introduction to Roland's elegant take on the variety.

The Burgenland bottling is his business card per se, a way to discover the potential of this grape and winemaker without a long wait, however, it has the ability not only to show beautifully now, but age as well. Signature characteristics are a lovely ruby hue, high-toned aromatic red and blue fruits, and spice.

The 2020 is true to this with notes of raspberry jam, blackberries, dusty plums, anise and toasty baking spices. The acidity is bracing and almost electric. Serve with a slight chill!