"The French term terroir is best defined as a "sense of place" and regardless of a wine's birthplace, my favorite producers manage to capture this elusive quality and bottle it for us to experience. These bottles that rest on our shelves are snapshots of their place & time and if you're drinking mindfully, there's a sense that you have travelled to their homeland by the time you get down to your last sip. If you're anything like me, a great bottle of wine is often the catalyst for booking an actual trip to see the terroir in person.
Early in my "travels" I came across the Austrian producer Moric and was immediately captivated by their expression of Blaufränkisch. The multi-layered, delicate and somewhat mysterious character of these wines made my imagination run wild, and now that they are available in the Oregon market, I recently revisited these gems and fell in love all over again. This 'Reserve' bottling represents a selection of the very best 50-100 year old vines from the limestone, slate and loam soils of vineyards in Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsburg. From the glass, you are greeted by thought provoking notes of sour cherries, blackberries, and purple flowers intermingling with herbacious tones of dried rosemary, oregano, five spice, forest floor, and gravel. The acidity pulsates through a mineral-rich, juicy and elegant texture before it descends on a velvety, lighlty tannic structure. The finish is lengthy and complex, displaying hints of smoke and a subtle salinity. A 45 minute decanting is highly recommended.
Much like the first time I experienced Moric, I sensed an undertone to these wines that suggested a deeper philosophy was at play. With a bit of research, I came across these words from winemaker Roland Velich that confirmed my suspicions: 'I believe the world of wine is so fed up with uniform wines, produced with the goal of achieving a maximum of points in a tasting and not with the motivation of creating from the raw materials that are at disposal, namely soil, climate and varietal, a product that is singular, because of the fact that it can only grow in this one place'.
I couldn't agree more".