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16th June 2020

Time to drink the good stuff like there’s no tomorrow* #18

Weingut Feiler-Artinger ‘1000X’ Cabernet Franc Merlot 2013
Rust, Austria, 13%

I tasted this wine with the charming Kurt Feiler a few years ago at his family winery. I absolutely loved it, and asked if it would be possible to buy a bottle. “Sure!” he said “But it’s not labelled yet - is that a problem?”
“Not at all”

So, he got me a bottle, and promptly drew the label on it! I almost wanted to keep it forever, and in wine terms, I probably could have. But the knowledge of its deliciousness won over, and so I opened it.

Feiler-Artinger’s top wines are called 1000-something, after the years since Austria’s founding (the year of release (2 years after the vintage) + 996 years. Which, somewhat optimistically, their website claims is ‘easy to understand’
(for example: “Die Nummer '1014' ist ebenfalls leicht erklärt: Jahrgang 2008, abgefühlt 2010. 2010 war bzw. wurde Österreich (ostarichi) 1014 Jahre alt.”)

This is the top red wine, so, perhaps refreshingly Kurt has simply called it 1000X. At least, I think that’s how it works.

But despite the wonderful bespoke packaging, it’s what’s inside that counts. This is 87% Cabernet Franc, and could therefore be labelled only as such, but the small amount of Merlot throws a veil of softness over the very Austrian pinpoint precision of the Cabernet Franc fruit with its crispness, defined blueberry fruit, chalky tannins and sweet allspice. There’s oak, too, but it plays a supporting role (as it should - all too often in Austrian red wines the oak strong-arms its way to the front and overwhelms the purity of fruit that the winemakers can - almost uniquely - achieve). The sheen of vanilla and smoke overlies the crunchy vibrant fruit and both vie for your attention in the best possible way. It’s fresh and delicious, and I will be back for more, irrespective of the labelling!

*There might be no tomorrow.


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