Burgenland or Burgundy?
Moric: Austria with Elegance

Posted by CrushWine

"Wines in a style you will not encounter anywhere else in Austria: Blaufränkisch vinified as if it were Grand Cru Burgundy."

- David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate

Heed Schildknecht's words above: This is an offer for the Burgundy lover, for those who appreciate a seductive, balanced expression of fruit, mineral, flower, earth.

This is elegant Blaufränkisch. In most cases, that's a rather jarring phrase; if Blaufränkisch has a reputation at all for the American consumer, it'd likely be reduced to "juicy, rustic and rugged."

Roland Velich and his Moric project, however, are leading something like a revolution in Austria's Burgenland - going back to the fundamentals and in the process finding a pure, authentic expression of Blaufränkisch.

For Joe and me, it's relatively simple: Velich is making what are likely this country's greatest red wines.

We first tasted the Moric wines in 2008 and were *immediately* blown away - few times has a first impression been so strong, so undeniable. Now they're getting serious attention from the movers and shakers of the wine world.

Schildknecht's reviews of the 2006s fueled the fire - Moric's two "Alte Rebens" were the highest scoring reds from Austria.

Roland was in town just the other week and while Joe and I hosted a dinner with him at Seasonal previewing the 2007s, he also had time to lunch with Eric Asimov of the The New York Times and some other prominent wine writers.

Asimov blogged about the event, writing: "In particular, I was blown away by two wines from Moric." My guess is you'll be reading more about Moric in the future.

Today we are proud to present Moric's outstanding 2007s - we cannot recommend them enough.

Moric Decanters

(Pictured above: Moric's rare Grüner Veltliners decant while the 2007 lineup of Blaufränkisch await the guests at a dinner we threw for Roland at Restaurant Seasonal in mid-February.)

The 2007 Morics are super-fine, with incredible detail and finesse. Moric's wines are so much about texture, washing over the palate like layers of satin, bright red fruit underscored by cassis, dark licorice, dried grasses, eucalyptus, pulverized cooking spices, pepper, soy and earth.

While the Blaufränkisch at $24.95 is the obvious value, the wine you can drink Monday through Friday and pair with just about anything, the "MORIC" (essentially the reserve bottling) is, at the moment, the richest and most blanketing of the entire lineup. The two "Alte Rebens" (old vines) are the most finessed, most age-worthy expressions. These are collectible Austrian "Grand Crus." Full notes on all the wines below.

For me, Moric's Blaufränkisch suggest elements of both Chambolle-Musigny and Volnay, the former in the ethereal textures and the latter in the linear quality and astounding focus. Velich himself thinks of his Blaufränkisch as Burgundy, with a touch of the Northern Rhône spice and sinew and the wild florality of Piedmont Nebbiolo.

The foundation of Moric is, as it should be, the vineyards. Velich focuses on two parcels in the villages of Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsberg with very old vines - we're talking up to, and over, 100 years old. Low yields, vinifications with natural yeasts in open-top fermenters. This is winemaking as it was, click here for more.

At the moment, to bring these wines into their top form, please do decant them before drinking. The Alte Rebens are meant to age and will benefit from a decade of cellaring - at the dinner Roland brought his two 2002 Alte Rebens and both were still quite young, 8 years post-vintage.

Production here is tiny; we are the first to bring the 2007 Morics to market but our small allocation will disappear quickly. To order, email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyers
(Austrian Wine Fanatics!)

Crush Wine & Spirits

2007 Moric Blaufränkisch

Special Email Price: $24.95
Compare at $30+

Fresh, bright and invigorating with tremendous energy on the palate - berry fruit, spice, smoke, graphite and an incredible array of dried herbs. But still, what you come back to, is the energy, the tension and balance of the wine. Such a good food wine.

2007 Moric (Reserve)

Special Email Price: $48.95

The "Moric" is made from top parcels in both Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsberg. Average age of the vines is ~40 years old and the 2007 shows some influence of wood, as Velich had to buy some newer wooden Botti. Still, the wood is terrifically integrated (even now) and adds a layer of flesh to this muscular red. Great concentration, super-fine texture, great balance. A *very* serious wine.

2007 Moric Lutzmannsberg Alte Reben

Special Email Price: $105.00

Grand Cru Austria. Sourced from an old-vine parcel, here around 100 years old. The Lutzmannsberg is the luscious, enveloping Moric; broad and deep with just mind-boggling depth and complexity. Awesome wine. Less structured than the Neckenmarkter but still will need 5+ to come into top form.

2007 Moric Neckenmarkter Alte Reben

Special Email Price: $112.00

Grand Cru Austria. Sourced from an old-vine parcel around 80 years old. The Neckenmarkter is the more structured, finessed, rawly mineral wine. This will demand aging to show its best, but the meat of this wine is stunning.

Moric arrives next week!

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