Pannonia From Roman To Austrian
Pannnonia was a province of the Roman Empire. Pannonia was located in the territory of present-day western Hungary eastern Austria and northwestern Croatia. Burgenland is a very unique sunny place and soil made up of clay, limestone , ancient rocks and gravel belongs to Austria. Ancient Grapes like Blaufrankisch, (Lemberger is a synonym ) Zwiegelt, make some fun reds to drink. I think 1 out of every 10 Austrian wines produced are made by Hopler winery.
They are an Austrian, family owned, winery located south east of Vienna in Burgenland.
Their 50ha of vineyards lie in the Leithaberg Hills on the shores of Lake Neusiedl. This unique location enables them to produce a wide range of wines; 55% white wine, 40% red and 5% dessert wine.
Hopler wines have a clear signature. They tend to be delicate, elegant and high in minerality. They are excellent to drink on their own but versatile when it comes to food and wine pairing.
They export 70% of our production. Hopler wines are in 38 States in the USA, UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Malta, Estonia and Scandinavia.
They are famous for making the house wines for the Trapp Family Lodge of Sound of Music fame and are fortunate to count the Vienna State Opera Ball, Jamie Oliver, Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Yountville), Bobby Flay (Mesa Grill, New York), Petri Lukkarinen (Olo, Helsinki), Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White among some of their more prestigious customers. The winemaker and owner is the genius of Christof Hopler.
2015 Pannonica By Hopler Red Blend
These grapes are all hand harvested. The red blend consists of 40% Balufrankish, 35% Zweigelt and 25% Pinot Noir. The grapes were picked at lower than normal sugar levels and you still have a 13% ABV with 1-2 grams per liter of Residual Sugar so close to Bone Dry but more towards Dry and Fruity. Hopler ferments 100% in Stainless Steel and I didn’t pick up any evidence of oak on this wine. Their vision is to do as little manipulation of the wines and let the grapes mingle together and express their flavor profile. Let’s review:
Color wise we have a wine that is almost dark ruby-garnet. I put a slight chill for 20 minutes to test the wine at 67 degrees after being open for 1 hour prior. The wine is light bodied and swirling brought out pretty aromatics of blackberry juice, black cherry, black plums, and melted black licorice. On the palate exactly as what I got on the nose, juicy balanced acidity and a mouth full of tart blackberry, lots of plum and black cherry, licorice and anise notes and allspice on the finish with a hint of spice and soft tannins. I wouldn’t recommend this wine to everyone and it isn’t a blow you away wine which isn’t what I think of when I think of Austrian Reds. From the Burgenland it went really well from my juicy Burger in my hand. The smoky bacon on the burger balanced out the juicy fruit. It needs that chill folks or it won’t bring out the flavors it should. It was a well put together red that would be fun with anything off the grill even a good Vienna Sausage or American Hot Dog. I will go 87 Points out of 100 on the score
Not every wine you drink has to be an explosive tannic fruit bomb with 14.9 or higher alcohol. I think if you never had a Blaufrankish and Zwiegelt blend or any Reds from Austria this is a must try. If you are a light Sangiovese or Pinot Noir drinker or Languedoc Merlot lover at $12.99 you can’t go wrong. You need wines like this in your life for just something easy and light to drink by itself or a bacon cheeseburger like me. Austrian wines are fun , non manipulated easy drinking wines. If you are going to try your first Austrian Red, I think Hopler is the producer you want to try.
Grape-fully yours, Larry
Christof Hopler At Work