The Greatest Red Wines in Austria: New Moric Release

Posted by CrushWine

For me, Roland Velich is making the greatest red wines in Austria by a factor of ten... or more. (Obviously I am not alone: see Schildknecht's quote above, Asimov's quotes below.)

There are certainly Austrian reds that are fruitier and richer, there are Austrian reds that flaunt more new wood and that come off as more, well, smooooooth.

But none have such striking clarity, none have as much elegance, none seem so authentic. Roland always says that Blaufrankisch is something like Nebbiolo (Barolo and Barbaresco), Northern Rhône Syrah and Burgundy all wrapped together and if that sounds good, well, it is.

We have supported the Moric wines for many years and a rather serious following has begun - as it should. Today we present the new-release 2008 Moric "Reserve" at the lowest price in the nation.

2008 in Austria, as with 2008 in Burgundy, shaped wines of a rather sinewy tension, a lift and grip that is thrilling. Don't let the "Reserve" label mislead you, this is not an overripe wine smothered in new wood - in fact the wine is decidedly fresh and vigorous. The nose is wildly aromatic, flowers and spice mixing it up with soaring, crisp red fruit.

For those who have not experienced a Moric wine before, the closest comparisons come from Burgundy, and specifically from Chambolle-Musigny and Volnay. The former in the ethereal textures and the latter in the linear quality and astounding focus.

An Asimov blog about Moric suggests a similar parallel, with Asimov writing: "Velich is an avowed Burgundy lover, and while he is not trying to recreate Burgundy with Blaufränkisch, Burgundy is his inspiration."

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, found in Austria's Burgenland. Low yields, vinifications with natural yeasts in open-top fermenters. Whereas many winemakers in Austria have yet to find the balance between concentration and new wood, the wines of Moric have nailed it.

While this would be a great red for the holiday table, consider going longer if you have any room in the cellar because the 2008 Reserve will be drinking wonderfully all winter and for the next two to five years at least.

As in past vintages, we are the first to bring the 2008 Moric Reserve to market. The pricing won't get sharper.

To order, email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf

Wine Director

Crush Wine & Spirits