For the most scholarly, enlightening essay on Moric, written by David Schildknecht for The World of Fine Wine, click here.
Austria's Burgenland is southeast of Vienna, pushing up against the border with Hungary. This is the home of Austria's reds, with Blaufränkisch ("Lemberger" in Germany and the U.S., "Kekfrankos" in Hungary) gaining more and more acclaim. Speaking with Velich it is obvious he has thought long and deep about Blaufränkisch, about Burgenland and about how to make wine.
The foundation of Moric is, as it should be, the vineyards. Velich focuses on parcels in the villages of Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsberg. These vineyards have very high densities, old clonal selections and very old vines - up to and beyond 100 years. Yields are extremely low, vinifications take place in open-topped fermenters with natural yeasts and are allowed to progress at their own rate.
"Blaufrankisch" is not a word that drips elegantly off the tongue. (Most often, the wines made from the Blaufrankisch grape don't exactly glide across the palate either.) That said, this is arguably the most important red wine varietal in Austria. Its favorite spot in Austria is just south and east of Vienna, in a region known as the Burgenland. Known as Lemberger in Germany, and in the few places in the U.S. that it is grown, Blaufrankisch produces a wine of a dark, midnight blue hue and the wines can have immense depth and power to them with dark fruit, pepper and bramble notes.