For our wine selection in October 21, we were looking for a grape variety that flies under the radar of the great classics. You should pay more attention to Blaufränkisch because it simply makes great complex wines! In the post we explain why that is the case!
Blaufränkisch is the grape variety with which the “white wine country” Austria has shown that it can also produce complex, heavy, storable red wines. Starting in Burgenland, some innovative winemakers managed to gain international attention with their Blaufränkisch wines in the 1980s. At that time mostly in cuvèes with grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and a strong use of wood. These heavy wines were more and more replaced in style by single-variety, complex and slightly lighter wines.
Although it is known as an Austrian grape variety, Blaufränkisch is originally from Hungary. This is still the largest growing area. Why was this grape variety brought to success in Austria then? In addition to the innovative winemakers there, Burgenland was also part of Hungary in the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918. The grape variety has a long tradition there and finds great conditions. The continental climate is tempered by the Neusiedlersee.
Blaufränkisch is also a grape variety that reacts very strongly to the soil. Therefore, it can produce very different styles of wine and develop different aromas. In Germany, especially in Württemberg, the grape variety is usually called Lemberger. That is because it was imported from there, from Lemberg in Slovakia.
Typically, Blaufränkisch wines have full fruity aromas of cherries and blackberries. There is also a spiciness with aromas of pepper. Chocolate is also found as an aroma in these wines, too. In addition, they have a decent acid structure, which ensures that they do not lose their freshness, even with heavier wines. In other words, an extremely complex grape variety that produces great and different wines. By the way, also very exciting rosés that are a bit fuller and more complex than typical summer rosés.
So: A lot to try out and enjoy!