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The wines of Weninger, Burgenland, Austria

Weninger, Florianigasse 11, A-7312 Horitschon, Austria
Tel: +43 2610 42165 0
Website: www.weninger.com e-mail weingut@weninger.com

Austrian wine is on the up at the moment. But it is a country best known for its white wines, and in particular some serious Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. What of its reds? They aren’t bad, and some are very good. Among the best are these impressive wines from Weninger, in Burgenland. (Franz Weninger is pictured right.)

The estate is based in Horitschon, and they have some 20 ha spread around the surrounding vineyards. Weninger also have crossed the border into neighbouring Hungary. They have 18 ha in Sopron, Balf (very close to Horitschon), and a further 10 ha in Villány region.

The wines are quite frankly world class. To those familiar with the Austrian wine scene this probably comes as no surprise. There’s more to Austria than just Riesling and Gru-Ve.

Weninger Höchacker Blaufränkisch 2002 Burgenland
Firm, ripe spicy chocolatey fruit on the nose. The palate is dense, structured and spicy. This is a fairly serious, robust red with lots of character and a dry finish. Very good/excellent 90/100

Weninger Blaufränkisch Reserve 2001 Burgenland
This spends 18 months in barriques, 60% of which are new. Assertive nose is spicy and rich with dark fruits and some oak. Wonderfully fruity, structured palate showing concentrated, spicy black fruits with fine tannins and a chocolatey edge. Very good excellent 92/100

Weninger Soproni Kéfrankos Spern Steiner Selection 2001 Hungary
Kéfrankos and Blaufränkisch are the same variety, the former being the Hungarian name. Weninger took their first steps in Hungary in 1992 and have had a winery here since 1995. This wine has an open, fruity, elegant nose of cherry and berry fruit with some spice. The palate is elegant with spicy berry fruit. Lovely. Very good/excellent 91/100

Weninger Veratina 2002 Burgenland
A blend of Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and Merlot with a tiny bit of Cabernet. This has a dark fruits nose which is quite brooding and intense. The palate is structured and spicy with ripe dark fruits, good acidity and a spicy undercurrent to the fruit. Delicious and drinking well: modern but nice. Very good/excellent 91/100

Weninger Merlot 2002 Burgenland
Planted first in 1992, mainly because of the heavy soil with lots of iron in certain sites planted which tend to produce structured wines. This has a ripe, spicy dark fruits nose. The palate is spicy, chocolatey and rich with good acidity and structure. It’s a really impressive modern-styled red. Very good/excellent 90/100

Weninger Blaufränkisch Dürrau 2002 Burgenland (barrel sample)
From a small 50 year old vineyard with vines planted at a density of 6000/hectare. This has an explosive nose that is ripe, open and forward with sweet blackcurrant notes, spice and chocolate. Great concentration and elegance on the palate. Lovely vivid spicy fruit with high acidity. Quite structured but already showing very well. Very good/excellent 94/100 

see also: tasting notes of Austrian wines

wines tasted May 2004

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