Site & soil
At 300 metres above sea level, Ried Kobeln is the highest-elevation vineyard on the Spitzerberg. Here, the layer of topsoil is very thin and exposure to the wind exceptionally open, resulting in extremely low yields. In 2008, a parcel of 1.1 hectares was planted, which yields on average about 1500–2000 kg of grapes. These particular Blaufränkisch berries are quite small, with an average diameter of 8mm, and therefore bring a lot of tannin and aromatic material into the highly concentrated wine. This makes Liebkind a wine that needs even more time to mature. Experience has shown that its elegance & finesse reveal themselves fully only after about five to six years of cellaring.
Harvest & Vinification
In order to avoid marmalade flavours, it is very important in this extremely dry vineyard to not wait a single day too long to pick the grapes – they are harvested by hand, and every overripe berry is carefully removed. In the cellar, the grapes are lightly crushed and macerated partly with the stems in open fermentation vats. This extraction is very gentle and occurs completely without pumping, and fermentation begins after a few days thanks to the wild yeasts. The
spontaneous fermentation proceeds very slowly and at room temperature; the must is neither heated nor cooled. In this way, the distinctive expression of Ried Kobeln is retained without any signs of extreme heat finding their way into in the wine. After about twenty days, the wine is pressed and then matured in a large, old wooden cask. During the twenty months spent maturing, the wine is racked only one time, and ultimately bottled without filtration.
2015 was an extremely dry and hot summer. The challenge was to conserve precise fruit, refreshing acidity and the typical agile grace customarily provided by the limestone. We selected very severely, taking away every single overripe berry.
“Candied orange and dried sour cherries make this a unique Blaufränkisch. Still very tight, but the great concentration is already very apparent. More polished tannins than in previous vintages and a diamond bright finish, making this hard to resist. Better from 2020. A single-vineyard wine from a very high-altitude site.” – James Suckling
“Aromatic, ripe blueberry notes entice the nose. The merest hint of licorice and tar tingles around the edges. A crushed, juicy berry charm also pervades the palate which dances along with such ease, such abandon, such joy, entirely on tiptoe, twirling, smiling and charming its way to a long finish. There is so much vigor and easy charm, a fresh-faced, unforced and disarmingly honest wine. Yet there is nothing facile. Lovely. Drink 2018–2028.” – Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast
“The 2015 Blaufränkisch Liebkind has an open, ripe and plummy bouquet with black tea and floral as well as (sweet) herbal aromas. On the palate, this is a ripe and round, sweet and concentrated Blaufränkisch that is not nearly as pure, fresh or finessed as the 2014 but is dense and fleshy, smooth and velvety, with a touch of Amarone. The 2015 will need some years to gain a bit of the stimulating character of the 2014. The tannins, however, are ripe and fine. It's just the smoother texture and super ripe fruit that you either like or you don't, but it's the reflection of both vintage and origin.” – Stephan Reinhardt, Robert Parker
James Suckling: 95 points, Wine Enthusiast: 94 points, Falstaff: 94 points, A la Carte: 94 points, Robert Parker: 92 points