2023 Prieler, Rosé of Blaufränkisch, vom Stein, Burgenland, Austria.
I’ve been following Prieler for the better part of 20 years now, and I was thrilled with their latest releases and especially the dry Rosé, made from 100% Blaufränkisch, with its beautiful delicate pink/salmon hue and bright sour cherry, watermelon, strawberry and ruby citrus fruits, along with fine crisp mineral tones, it’s a excellent and unique quaffable Summer sipper. For his Rosé, winegrower Georg Prieler does a direct press saignée to stainless steel tank for fermentation and short aging on the lees, bottling it just 5 months from harvest, all to keep things vivid and refreshing, as this 2023 vintage shows with excellent clarity. The stony Prieler Rosé, coming from all organic 25 year old vines in Burgenland’s Leithaberg region near the Schützen am Gebirge commune and set on classic limestone soils, which adds a sense of place and complexity to this fun and tasty effort. It was nice to catch up on Georg’s wines, with his signature Blaufränkisch and Pinot Blanc bottlings taking center stage, with the 2020 Oggau Johanneshöhe Blaufränkisch and 2021 Leithaberg DAC Pinot Blanc Alte Reben (old Vine) being my favorites, along with this dry Rosé and Prieler’s Kalkterrassen Gemischter Satz (co-fermented white blend), which was all new to me. Prieler has many varietals planted here, including Blaufränkisch, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Welschriesling, Sankt Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which all enjoy lots of sunshine and a complex series of calcerous and iron rich soils with sand, limestone over deep chalk, fossilized rock and some mica-schist.

The Prieler estate, founded in 1972, is based in Schützen, which sits on the western side of the Lake Neusiedl, in Burgenland, it is a historic old farm, that was once dedicated to many types of agriculture, but now specializing almost solely in grape growing. Georg Prieler is a the second generation Prieler to run this iconic winery and the one that has brought world wide acclaim to this property with his fantastic terroir driven Blaufränkisch and Pinot Blanc wines. Georg’s wife Silvia brings a wealth of experience to the winery with a PhD in biochemistry, international experience including an internship at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy and a precise touch, which explains the class and finesse in the wines. The winery notes that all of the grapes are carefully crushed and fermented at closely controlled temperatures in steel tanks or wooden casks. The character of the variety and the vineyard determines how the wine will be matured and what in. For example, the Primer’s add, the Seeberg Pinot Blanc will aged exclusively in stainless steel to maximize freshness and clarity, while the Blaufränkisch from Johanneshöhe will be raised in large oak casks, and Georg’s top crus like Goldberg will mature in small Burgundy barriques. Prieler’s 20 hectares of vines are cultivated in small parcels between the Leithagebirge, which according to the winery, is the last outpost of the eastern Alps that protect the vines from the western winds, and the Lake Neusiedl, which tempers the hot climate of the Pannonian plain, where there is the most sunshine in all of Eastern Europe. I highly recommend digging deep into the Prieler collection, especially the mentioned wines above, they will certainly impress for their outstanding quality and elegance.
($22 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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