The Eichkogel (the name is a joining of the German words for Oak and Small Mountain) is a blend of Burgenland’s traditional varieties: Blaufränkisch (70%) and Zweigelt (30%). The grapes ripen to full maturity on the south-facing slopes of the Leitha Hills which enjoy Burgenland’s warm Pannonian climate. The vineyards were planted in 1985, 1992 and 1995. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. The wine is aged for 18 months in small oak barrels, of which 20% are new. The remaining is aged in two year old barrels (from Taransaud and Seguin-Moreau). It is bottled without filtration and fining and rests in bottles for 6 months before release. Eichkogel unites the spicy berry fruit of Blaufränkisch with the velvetiness of Zweigelt. 13.5% alcohol.
About the Producer
The Kollwentz estate, founded in 1775, cultivates 20 hectares of vineyards on the southern slopes of the Leitha mountain range, around the town of Grosshöflein, on the western side of Lake Neusiedl. The soils in this part of Burgenland are a unique mix of limestone, clay and granite, which impart a distinct minerality and structure to the wines. Kollwentz offers a range of the red native varietals, Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch, as well as world class wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. All the fruit is estate-grown.
The modern history of the venerable house begins with Anton Kollwentz. Born in 1940, Anton represents the sixth generation of the Kollwentz family. At the age of 18 Anton became responsible for his parents’ cellar. He quickly made a name for himself in the 1960s with his noble sweet wines, which he placed — a first for such wines — in Austria’s top restaurants. Encouraged by the response from upscale restaurants, he turned towards dry white wines in 1970. For more than a decade he was the sole advocate of dry Burgenland whites. In addition, Anton’s love for Blaufränkisch led him to take this native varietal to new heights in the unique ambiance of the Leithagebirge. His commitment to perfection and his openness to innovation, such as the use of French oak barrels, malolactic fermentation in cask, and blending made him one of the fathers of world-class pure Blaufränkisch wines and blends such as Steinzeiler.
In 1989, Andi Kollwentz returned home to his parents’ winery after training at the vinicultural college of Klosterneuburg and stages in France. With the 1993 vintage, Anton Kollwentz handed over responsibility for the cellar to his son Andi. The Falstaff Wine Guide offers this appreciation: “Andi Kollwentz is the decathlete among Austria’s vintners, being a dab hand at the most diverse disciplines and ranking on top in every category…. this is what really makes great winemakers: whether a small vintage or a terrific year, you can always rely on them. And for years now you can count on the Kollwentz family at every tasting – dealing with whatever style and variety.”
All grapes are from the estate’s own vineyards and are picked by hand. This implies rigorous selection directly on the vine — only fully ripe, healthy fruit ends up in the cellar. The vines are encouraged to root deeply to seek nutrition. This makes for lower yields and healthier grapes which posses extra aromas, flavors and concentration.