I’ll be honest, Austria is not a place whose wines I am overly familiar with. I’m not an instinctive white drinker and the reds are even more of an unknown quantity. I have tried a Blau Frankisch in the past and sampled a few Austrian wines briefly but this is the first to get a blog entry.
The area of Burgenland is blessed with a climate that sees a good level of sun and benefits from warms winds making it an area suitable for red production. The producer Moric has evidently taken a very meticulous approach to finding and selecting the best parcels of vines that are as old as possible. The top Blaufrankisch varietals from the parcels in the village of Lutzmannsberg are from vies that are over 100 years old. This wine is a more entry-level wine but still made with the same commitment to elegance.
The grape itself, Blau Frankisch is a dark skinned and late ripening varietal. It has been dubbed the “Pinot Noir of the East” given how far in to Eastern Europe it is planted. But that might be to constrain it a little. It can manifest a number of wine types, from a peppery spicy Syrah copy to the poised elegance traditionally associated with Burgundy. All of which gives this wine both something to live up to though a question of what it ought to be living up to.
From the off it’s clear that we towards the elegant end of things here. There is a herb tinged nose, perhaps thyme, with notes of dark cherry and black tea. On the palate raspberry emerges to lead the tastes, with again support from dark cherries and again notes of black tea and even perhaps a hint of cocoa. There is a savoury tinge of roast red meat. There is great acidity here and a long and pretty dry finish. There is a nice minerality and a really elegant structure – you are struck by the smoothness of it all and a silky caress of layered tastes.
This is a really nice wine, distinctive with that dry finish and not an overtly fruity red but one that suits gentle sipping and appreciation. If I had to boil it down, I’d say this has elements of both Burgundy and Barolo in its makeup. The fruit of the former and the dryness and tannic behaviour of the latter.
Available from grape and grind.