Schilcher Sekt! Strohmeier Sensational for Summer Sipping

Posted by CrushWine

Schilcher Sekt: This may be your new favorite summer wine, if you can pronounce it! Howard Goldberg of the New York Times has fallen in love - now it's your turn.

Schilcher Sekt flows liberally in Austria; the charming sparkling rose is just about the perfect appetite-stimulating aperitif though it can also be paired with a hearty selection of local cheeses and cured meats. Whether you're in Schilcher's hometown of Styria, in southern Austria, or at a Viennese wine bar, in the shadow of the St. Stefan's Cathedral, Schilcher is the perfect summer sipper.

We're proud to carry two fantastic Schilchers: A serious vintage Schilcher (2000) with complex strawberry, potpourri fruits and a stylish acidity and the more rustic NV Schilcher with great fruits, spices, and a burly, textured acidity. Both are tremendous values.

Schilcher is made from the Blauer Wildbacher grape. This traditional Austrian grape is known for its rippingly crisp acidity and has enjoyed a strong foothold on the slate soils near the Slovenian border since the time of the ancient Celts. We're talking the far south of Austria - Stryia to be exact! Blauer Wildbacher is a red grape, though its mouthful of acidity means that it is most often made into a rose.

Franz Strohmeier has been making Schilcher roses on the slopes of the lower Koralpe mountain range in southern Styria since 1990. In 1997 Strohmeier began making the full-bodied sparkling Schilcher Sekts that the spicy aromatic grape is so well-suited for. Strohmeier gently nudges the late-ripening Blauer Wildbacher from vineyard to bottle with all-natural vineyard practices. He begins both his non-vintage Schilcher Sekt and Schilcher Sekt 2000 Reserve with only free-run juice. The non-vintage wine sees no oak but rests in the bottle on its yeast deposit for twelve months before release, eventually bursting with spice-toned cassis and strawberry fruit. The 2000 reserve benefits from twelve months in barrique and over five years in the bottle to produce dark jammy strawberry and chocolate notes.

In his own words, Strohmeier has done his homework in the vineyard to produce an outstanding Schilcher Sekt showpiece. The quality is high - the quantity low. A mere ten hectares of carefully farmed land have consistently produced Schilchers that have scored high marks in the German and Austrian press. Now they're in the U.S.

As the Austrians would say: "Prost!"