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Kakfrankos from Peter Wetzer

February 27, 2019 Leave a comment

I find it hard to believe I last tasted the wines of Peter Wetzer of Hungary nearly seven years ago.  At the time, I tasted the 2009 Kekfrankos or Blaufrankisch.  John (MacArthur Beverages) just brought in two newer vintages of Kekfrankos.  The 2012 Peter Wetzer, Kekfrankos Spern Steiner Sopron is from the top Spern Steiner area.  It reveals a bit more age in color but in the mouth the core of fruit is still developing complexity while maintaining a fresh, citric grip.  There is fine density to it.  Even more fresh and crisp is the 2015 Peter Wetzer, Kekfrankos Beldes Sopron.  This reveals more fruit weight yet keeps a zippy edge throughout.  While I have a slight preference for the 2012, I it is more interesting to taste the two vintages side by side.

2012 Peter Wetzer, Kekfrankos Spern Steiner Sopron – $25
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Kekfrankos fermented in open vats then aged on the lees in used barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  The cherry, garnet color reflects the bottle age.  A fine nose of black pepper and herbaceous hints.  In the mouth are rounded flavors with some density to them.  There is some complexity surrounding the core of berry fruit which is carried by watering acidity.  With air, this dry wine develops hard flavors of cherry and strawberry.  The structure leaves citric grip on the gums.  *** Now – 2024.

2015 Peter Wetzer, Kekfrankos Beldes Sopron – $25
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.Alcohol 13.5%.  A cranberry, grapey color.  In the mouth this is a lively wine, almost with spritz on the tongue, which matches the tart, red flavors and fine grapey tannins.  It has youthful heft.  With air the zippy edge remains, perhaps more of a citric edge, red and black fruits come into focus along with ground stones.  Fresh.  **(*) Now – 2023.

The Tiny Production of Peter Wetzer

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

While John pointed out the newly arrived wines from Peter Wetzer, I imagine I would have eventually found them on my own for they do stand out with their unusual graphic labels.  In fact all of the initial information I found was related to the labels themselves.  Peter Wetzer commissioned Laszio Mihaly Naske of NLM Designs to create labels with a calligraphic theme.  For information about the wines themselves I turned to Charles Gendrot of Williams Corner Wines.

There are less than 300 cases of Peter Wetzer’s wine from the 2009 vintage. This is not surprising given that he alone handles the entire production.  He uses vineyards located in Sopron which lies in the extreme north-western portion of the country. This is an old wine region which is nestled in the foothills of the Alps. Hungary is dotted with small volcanic “plugs” as described in Decanter Magazine and Sag-Hegy is one of them.  For the white wine Peter Wetzer sources his fruit from the vineyards on the Sag-Hegy volcano which has soils of black earth, basalt, and tuffa.  Peter helps the old growers who own these vineyards with the harvest.

Sag-Hegy, Image from LiviaV (flickr)

The fruit is fermented in open containers using indigenous yeasts.  While the red wine is pure Kekfrankos (also known as Blaufrankisch) the white wine is a blend of Olaszrizling (known as Welschriesling in Austria) and Gemischter SatzGemischter Satz is a field-blend of different white varietals which are grown together in the vineyard.  As a result they are harvested and fermented together.  This is still popular for the vineyards surrounding Vienna.   The white wine is 50% whole bunch pressed and 50% macerated on the skins. They are then fermented and aged on the lees in cask for one year. There is no stirring. All of the wines are neither fined nor filtered and are bottled by gravity.  I recommend you try both of these wines but if you must pick one then grab the white Sag.  There is something about it that compels you to drink more.  But do hurry, only 50 cases were produced!  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2009 Peter Wetzer, Kekfrankos, Sopron- $22
Imported by Williams Corner Wines. This wine is 100% Kekfrankos which was racked once.  Alcohol 13%. The color is a light to medium ruby. The light nose reveals fresh white pepper along with Blaufrankisch aromas. In the mouth the fresh red fruit leaves gentle, low-lying and expanding flavors. It is lighter in body with red fruit that mixes with citrus-like tannins, and a little orange juice flavors. There are pepper flavors in the finish. There is a concentration that slowly opens over the course of an evening. Finely done. **(*) 2014-2018.

2009 Peter Wetzer, Olaszrizling, Saghegyi, Sopron – $27
Imported by Williams Corner Wines. This wine is a blend of 60% Olaszrizling and 40% Gemischter satz from 100-year-old vineyards.  Alcohol 13%. The color is a light+ straw, yellow with a subtle haze. The light nose reveals waxy, floral, and some tropical aromas. In the mouth there is a moderate honeyed mouthfeel, a little wood spice throughout along with supportive acidity. The floral/tropical notes reappear in the mouth. The aftertaste is drier leaving lots of finely textured baking spice. This wine is refreshing and very easy to drink. *** Now-2015.