2013 Prieler, Blaufränkisch “Johanneshole” Burgenland, Austria.
Prieler’s 2013 Johanneshole is a stunning example of Blaufrankisch with deep fruit intensity and mineral character with the vintage’s powerful extract and vibrancy on full display. Prieler crafts some of the most stylish wines in Austria and certainly are one of Burgenland’s top producers with a selection of gorgeous Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and one of the best Rose offerings in Europe! They also are widely known for their rich and earthy Blaufrankisch that will remind you of Nuits-St.-George and Crozes-Hermitage, these dark and brooding wines are lovely expressions of terroir and of this unique varietal that has in recent times become Austria’s signature red grape. Prieler does two single site crus, Marienthal and Goldberg, plus a blend of both, as well as this single site Johanneshole, which is the most forward and open of the set of Blaufrankisch, which I in fact almost always like just as much of not even better than the top crus, this is an entry wine that way over delivers. Georg Prieler only makes 8, 000 cases per vintage, each wine is handcrafted and with a selection lovingly imported by Terry Theise to the United States, I’ve been a big fan of Georg’s wines and this 2013 is one of the best I can remember, it has everything you’d want, it’s lively, with energy and verve, and it challenges the senses. The soils here are varied with limestone, slate, schist and pepples and the Prieler Blaufrankisch always translates it’s terroir, will the Johanneshole you get a medium weighted very dark wine with a garnet and purple hue in the glass that has a subtle floral perfume and loads of spices and herbs leading to a poised and finessed palate of huckleberry, dried clay, lavender, mineral/iron tones, saddle leather, black olives, cracked peppercorns, forest berries and raw meaty/earth. Everything comes together with supple tannins and fresh acidity with pleasing silken texture and impressive length, this Blaufrankisch is really starting to hit it’s stride now, but should gain with another 3 to 5 years. Prieler’s beautiful 2013 Johanneshole is a great introduction to Austria’s Blaufrankisch and this mysterious region, be sure to look for this one and keep an eye out for Georg’s amazing Rose and Pinot Blanc!
($27 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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