With only 500ha (1250 acres) under vine, Sudburgenland is one of Austria's smallest wine regions sandwiched in the southeastern corner of the country between Steiermark in the west and Hungary in the east. The proximity of the warm and dry Pannonian Plain and the iron-rich soils create a terroir that is particularly suited to the production of spicy, elegant wines produced from the Blaufrankisch grape.
The region stretches about 20 miles (32km) from north to south. The mild, sunny continental climate provides a good environment for the late-ripening Blaufrankisch variety. Warm days are followed by much cooler evenings, offering grapes a respite from ripening over night. This diurnal temperature shift slows the ripening process and allows the grapes to develop complexity while retaining structure and acidity.
For the most part, Sudburgenland is occupied by small, hobbist producers who sell their wines at the local Heurigen (wine gardens). However, the region encompasses the historically significant, DAC appellation of Eisenberg (Iron Mountain), where Blaufrankisch wines of great singularity, distinct minerality and finesse are produced. The ancient Romans recognized the grandiose conditions for the viticulture and produced wine here.
Eisenberg is known for slate soils, which when mixed with heavy clay, can create the perfect grounds to grow dense, fine wines from the Blaufrankisch grape. The soil is over a base of sand and clay and is rich in iron, giving the mountain its name.
The Blaufränkisch wines from the 15 hectare, Weingut Kopfensteinen are among the finest red wines produced in all Austria and represent the quintessence of Southern Burgenland. Since 2005, after taking control from his father, Thomas Kopfensteiner and his wife Astrid have followed a singular, passionate focus on Blaufrankisch. Kopfensteiner’s wines are traditionally and naturally produced with a strict, non-interventionist philosophy. Precise thinning and defoliation are, in addition to climate and soil, the guarantors for ripe and perfect grape material. Only grapes that are physiologically mature and free from green tannins are used in the wines. What makes Thomas Kopfensteiner so enthusiastic about "his" region is “the uniqueness of the soil, which make the uniqueness of my wines possible.”
Weingut Kopfensteiner’s most important vineyard sites are among the very best locations in the Deutsch-Schützener: Weinberg, Reihburg, Saybritz and Szapary. The Weinberg is a plateau located 300 meters above sea level. Its southern exposure and clay soil brings some of the earthiest, juiciest and fruit rich wines found in the Eisenberg DAC. The Szapary cru has slate soils mixed with quartz sand allowing for elegant, mineral-infused wines.
Dark ruby with violet tones in the glass. On the nose the wine presents red berry aromas, a hint of orange zest and nougat with notes of herbs spices. Rich and ripe on the palate with elegant, dark berry and red fruit flavors, good minerality and hints of chocolate in the finish. The wine is beautifully balanced with a silky texture and a long finish.
In the glass the wine appears deep dark ruby garnet with violet reflections. The multi-faceted nose presents complex aromas of black forest berry fruit, dark cherries, licorice and layers of spice. On the palate the wine is highly concentrated yet elegant and echoes the characteristics in the bouquet with additional complex, dark berry and cherry fruit flavors, ripe tannins and spice.