Samt&Seide listed at Systembolaget
Samt means Velvet in German, and Seide means Silk. The name was chosen because it describes the texture of this Blaufränkisch. The grapes used to produce this wine grow on the slopes of the Spitzerberg Mountain, which is situated in the wine region of Carnuntum, in the easternmost reaches of Austria. The silkiness of the wine stems from the mountain’s pure limestone soils which consistently lend the wines a lean and tight-knitted structure, a certain light-footedness and length at the same time – much like silk fabric. (The pure expression of this silkiness is characteristic of the Blaufränkisch “Ried Spitzerberg” single vineyard of the Muhr-van der Niepoort Wine Estate. Crafted from 45 – 65 year old vines, this wine is sheer elegance.)
In order to produce the “Samt&Seide”, Dorli Muhr uses grapes from vines which are between 15 and 30 years old. They contribute a round and velvety element to the wine, as the eponymous “Samt” suggests. A portion of the grapes for this wine was foot-trodden with whole bunches in order to further emphasize its elegance and smoothness. The wine fermented with wild yeast, matured for 16 months in large, old wooden barrels and then spent a further 14 months ageing in bottle before arriving in Sweden.
1200 bottles of the Blaufränkisch Samt&Seide 2016 are now available at Systembolaget at a price of 189 Swedish krona each.
The Spitzerberg is the last foothill to the Little Carpathians Mountain Range. (C) Herbert Lehmann
Carnuntum is situated in the easternmost part of Lower Austria. The Spitzerberg Mountain forms the last foothill of the Little Carpathians Mountain Range. Its geographical location makes it a very dry and windswept site, with a decidedly continental climate – the area frequently reaches temperatures of 35 to 40 degrees Celsius during the summer months. The sandy limestone soils retain only small amounts of water, which provides a very challenging setting for the Spitzerberg vines. The Muhr-van der Niepoort Wine Estate farms 12 hectares of vines, located exclusively on the southern slope of the Spitzerberg. The average yield is approximately 2500 litres per hectare.
Blaufränkisch Grapes (C) Lois Lammerhuber
2016 was not an easy year, especially for producers employing organic practices. During the summer, several smaller rain showers complicated the vineyard work, costing everyone additional time and energy. On the other hand, after a dry and stressful 2015 the vines were grateful for the water and produced beautifully balanced fruit. The 2016 vintage offers a wonderful balance between fruitiness, structure, good acidity and elegant tannins.
Dorli Muhr presenting the Muhr-van der Niepoort range (C) Herbert Lehmann
Dorli Muhr and Dirk Niepoort founded the Muhr-van der Niepoort Wine Estate in 2002, with 0.25 hectare of land. Since then, the estate has grown little by little, established a new style of Blaufränkisch in Carnuntum and has become one of the top wineries in Austria. In his most recent review of the 2016 vintage of Austrian red wines, Wine Advocate Robert Parker awarded the Blaufränkisch Ried Spitzerberg 2016 the highest points for any red wine in the country.
Weingut Dorli Muhr
A small parcel on the Ried Roterd is the heart of the whole project. This vineyard was a wedding gift to Dorli’s grandmother Katharina Muhr in 1912. In 2002 – and together with her then husband Dirk van der Niepoort – Dorli Muhr started the renaissance of the Spitzerberg. The project has developed steadily since then. Dorli Muhr now cultivates twelve hectares of vineyards on the Spitzerberg, practicing organic viticulture. The yields are quite meagre and the wines extremely concentrated; thanks to the limestone soils they are elegant and graceful as well.