TLZ Indigo No. 5
Franz Strohmeier is a visionary natural winemaker, working in the Steiermark part of Styria, known as the “Green Heart” of Austria. Franz is a very philosophical winemaker – who is never contented to make wine like the establishments around him – always making the decisions that expresses his terroir in the most natural way. He is constantly tinkering with his 8-hectares of vines to find better and more natural methods. An example most recently was his use of whey (the liquid part of milk produced in cheese production) to spray his grapes, instead of copper sulfate. He has some portion of his grapes growing wild, without pruning, that produce very small intensely flavored grapes. Franz does not subscribe to any certified biodynamic organization, although many of his methods sound biodynamic to us. If a malady strikes a vine, he often prefers to not treat it. Instead, he prefers to forgo those vines, saying the vineyard as a whole gains in health from a little bit of sickness, showing how biodiversity is of chief concern. He makes wines that are like nothing else we have ever tasted, a true display of the unique terroir of this region. Franz makes sparkling wines with great finesse and stability, perfect for everyday drinking and pairing with a wide variety of foods. He also makes the Trauben, Liebe & Zeit (=Grapes, Love, Time) line, amazingly crafted zero sulfur wines made with nothing but grapes, love and time.
This deep, ink-blue red is one of Franz’s top wines, made with old Blauer Wildbacher vines in the best vintages. Just like the color whose name it carries, this wine is deep and intriguing; it also ages gracefully, so the patient among us will be greatly rewarded.
Vineyard: Lestein. Steep slope on Gneiss with loamy topsoil and important iron contet, close to Franz’s house. Vines planted in the 1980s by his father, one-wire trained.
Making of: the grapes are hand-harvested, with a careful selection of only the ripe and healthy grapes. The crushed grapes then spend 4 weeks on skins, going through the spontaneous primary fermentation. After soft pressing, the wine spends 24 months in used 500-liter and smaller wooden barrels. Unfined, unfiltered, no sulfur added.
Personality: Red so deep it turns blue which turns black. The most beautiful color you’ll ever drink. An everlasting upward spiral to the layers of pleasure where words fail you. Treat yourself.
-Jenny & Francois