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'Seeing red' - by Sally Easton MW

Published:  23 July, 2008

Austria, with less than 1% of global wine production, is a hot-house of innovation and aspiration for its red wine producers.

There are undoubtedly plenty of tasty styles of wine made in big old wood and other inert vessels, but it is the top cuves that make the most noise for Austrian reds. For these, the honeymoon period is probably not yet over for ostentatious, overt oak, but some of the best producers seem to be drawing back a little from its sometimes dominating vanilla and cream, toast and spice notes, letting the fruit shine through instead. Moric may be one of the vanguard in this respect.

Producer Franz Weninger says: 'You have to be really careful with wood. Blaufrnkisch is the great red variety of Austria, with great ageing potential. It is mainly the fruit-acid balance that holds the wine, not the tannin. Barrique was quite heavy in the past 10 years, but most winemakers are now finding the right way of using wood.'