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Fine bright Austrian blaufränkisch, singing right now and priced for a song. An upfront example of the red-fruited charms that define the grape, along with subtle spicy complexity and an overall elegance that stood out in our tastings.
Product Code: AA2581
View all products by Weingut Hans Igler
This estate in Austria’s Burgenland is best known for its red wines. Hans Igler was a red wine legend in his homeland; in the1970s he was among the first in Austria to make his wines completely dry and in the 1980s he was also one of the avant-garde set who defied the norm by maturing his wines in small French oak barrels. After her father’s death, Waltraud Reisner-Igler dedicated herself to continuing her father’s vision for the wines and together with her husband Wolfgang Reisner took over the family winery, running it with an absolute commitment to quality. Their son Clement is now also involved in the family business as well as making his own wines. The Society is a regular follower of the Igler wines made from zweigelt - a relatively modern hybrid grape, which thrives in this part of Austria, producing wines that are deep and vibrant in colour with plump cherry flavours – and from the indigenous blaufränkisch grape which yields ample, smooth fruity reds not dissimilar in style to cru Beaujolais.
Austria has a long history of making fine wines, but with the country’s wines undergoing a renaissance in recent years, now is arguably the best time to get to know the diverse and delicious bottles on offer.There is evidence that vines were being cultivated in Austria for the production of wine by the Celts, even before the Romans. Austria was, rather surprisingly, the third-largest producer of wine globally in the 1920s, mainly producing and exporting simple light white wines. In more recent times the country has had to deal with the infamous ‘anti-freeze’ scandal of the 1980s when a handful of bulk producers were found to have adulterated their wines with ethylene glycol to sweeten their wines. The problems of the 1980s hit the country’s industry hard, but also had the effect of initiating the most wide-ranging quality control measures being implemented to ensure that this sort of disaster could never happen again. The industry was further reinvigorated as larger and less quality-oriented producers went out of business, leaving old sites available for a new generation of winemakers and the original fine winefamily producers.Austria's wine regions are confined to the east of the country where the Alps settle into the great Pannonian Plain, running north to south along the many borders from the Czech Republic in the north to Slovenia in the south. The climate here is continental, characterised by cold winters, hot dry summers, and often a large diurnal temperature flux with hot days, and cold nights. This is perfect for ripening a large range of grape varieties and retaining acidity and fresh aromas in white wines.Broadly there are three major regions: Niederösterreich in the north, Burgenland and Steiermark to the south. Within these regions are a further 16 smaller DACs (Districtus Austriae Controllatus).Niederösterreich (27,128ha) is known for high-quality white wine production, and most of the vineyards are focused along the banks of the Danube and its tributaries. Nearly half of all vines in this large area are grüner veltliner although world-class rieslings are also produced. Sub regions to look out for here include Kamptal, Kremstal, Wachau, Wagram and Weinviertel.Burgenland (13,840ha) is the area of vineyards focused around Lake Neusiedl – Central Europe's second-largest lake which straddles the Austrian-Hungarian border. Full-bodied and rich red wines are produced under the influence of the hot continental climate. The complex soil structure throughout the hills surrounding the lake, the various aspects available and large diurnal temperature change allows fine mineral-driven reds to be made. The reds produced use local grape varieties which are suited to the terroir - look out for blaufränkisch, zweigelt and St Laurent. The natural humidity caused by the lake can also lead to high levels of botrytis making this an excellent source of high-quality dessert wines.Steiermark (Styria) (4,240h) the smallest Austrian area is developing a great reputation for its steely sauvignons and fresh aromatic white wines. Although many of the best wines are made in such small quantities that they are never exported, this is a region to watch.In terms of grapes, grüner veltliner, native to Austria and Central Europe, is the king of the whites in terms of volume. It is turned into everything from light, thirst-quenching wines to complex barrel-aged stars. It is a great food wine and is finding its way on to many more restaurant wine lists around the world.Riesling is less widely planted, at only 5% of Austria’s production, but makes some of the country’s finest wines, particularly on the steep slopes of the Wachau Valley along the banks of the Danube. Riesling's common style in Austria is bone-dry, elegant and steely with fresh citrus flavours.Chardonnay (sometimes locally called morillon) and sauvignon blanc are increasingly planted and are already showing themselves to be hugely promising. The highly aromatic scheurebe, a German import, has a foothold in Steiermark making peach and blackcurrant-leaf-scented wines that marry well with spicy foods.Reds make up about a third of Austrian plantings. 13 varieties are permitted, including both the dominant indigenous varieties and those more recently introduced such as cabernet and pinot noir. Zweigelt is the most commonly planted, making up 15% of Austria’s red vines, and is a 1920s cross between blaufränkisch and St Laurent. It makes relatively light reds generally, with sour-cherry and redcurrant flavours supported by fine tannins and a spicy linear finish. Blaufränkisch (pronounced blaou-FREN-kish) is a late-ripening indigenous variety can create wines with dense tannins, high acidity and concentration that can age well for many years. Generally the wines have notes of blackberries, ripe cherries or plums. St Laurent wines are often confused with pinot noir as they can have a similar profile: red-berry perfume, light elegant and crisp. However, St Laurent is often used to add elegance to a blend.
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"A classic Blaufraenkisch, exactly as described. A superior example of this grape variety."
Alan Midgley Esq (06-Jan-2019)
rosemurraybrown.com (13th Oct 2018)
"The Igler family
produce such good value examples of the juicy tangy blaufränkisch, one of
Austria’s most planted grapes. It tastes a bit like a youthful syrah crossed
with gamay. Smooth rounded ripe fruits and fine tannin, easy to drink on its
own or serve it slightly chilled with a platter of charcuterie. Watch out for
Waltraud Igler’s excellent version of zweigelt too. - Rose Murray Brown"
Mr C Borghi (22-Jul-2018)
"Like pinot noir but more tannins. Strong mineral aftertaste fresh from bottle but integrated nicely after warming up. Feels like it could be very interesting with more age."
Mr Barry Kelly (08-May-2018)
"This was a delightful surprise with its fresh forest fruits and good spice character. Definitely recommended for Burgundy and Beaujolais Cru lovers.
I wasn’t the only one in our wine group to enjoy it."
Mrs Elisabeth Pearce (24-Apr-2018)
"Hans Igler's wines were one of the main reasons why I joined The Wine Society back in 2004 after having discovered his wines in Vienna in 2002. As the Information summary says, not dissimilar to a Cru. Very drinkable and superb with rich foods and red meats."
Mr Steven Hunt (11-Nov-2017)
The Times (7th Jun 2018)
"Austria’s sparky reds
make delicious warm-weather wines. See for yourself with this zingy, peppered
red plum and pickled sour cherry of a blaufränkisch that, lightly chilled,
brings out the best in a lunchtime ploughman’s. - Jane MacQuitty"
rosemurraybrown.com (23rd Jun 2018)
"... great example of
what good value Blaufrankisch can be. Juicy, ripe, gently spicy, softly tannic,
lightly oaked example which tastes a bit like a tangy young Syrah - with an
extra kick of acidity on the finish which makes the grape so refreshing. Made by
Hans Igler’s daughter Waltraud and husband Wolfgang who took over after Hans
died. - Rose Murray Brown"
The Times (3rd Mar 2018)
blaufränkisch from the Burgenland, aged in oak and bursting with zingy, yet
fat, juicy black fruit. - Jane MacQuitty"
The Wine Gang (5th Jan 2018)
lightly oaked blaufränkisch. Tangy but rounded and ripe with sweet wild-cherry
and dark berry fruit and cracked black pepper spice and crunch. - The Wine Gang"
decanter.com (6th Dec 2017)
"Blaufränkisch is a great choice when you're looking
for a good value, medium-bodied and versatile red on a restaurant wine list – try
it next time you order duck. Hans Igler was one of the first estates to produce
premium reds in Austria's Burgenland region. After his death, his daughter
Waltraud and her husband Wolfgang Reisner took the reins. This is among their
entry-level reds, and is a joyful glass, dancing with juicy, ripe black cherry
fruit. It's not hugely complex, but is a very enjoyable alternative to pinot
noir or Beaujolais. - Amy Wislocki"
JancisRobinson.com (16th Oct 2017)
Bright crimson. Lightly dusty overlay on bright,
fresh fruit. Very round on the palate, minimal tannin. Reasonably simple but
certainly not expensive. Some stony edge. I should imagine this is very
sensitive to temperature. 16/20
"Unpleasant, this wine is rough."
Mr Rory Pogson (13-Oct-2018)
"Very interesting and enjoyable, fruity with spice and length. Well worth a taste."
Dr Robert Vaughan (16-Oct-2016)
"Great balanced wine, especially for the price. Lots of fruit, measured tannins and quite long. Do try a bottle, you won't regret it."
Mr Boris Telyatnikov (11-Oct-2016)
The Mail on Sunday (8th Jan 2017)
"Elegant red with
silky richness and distinctive spice. Excellent quality. - Olly Smith"
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