An Austrian red

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This was a new experience for both Richard and I. The Blaufrankisch red grape (syn. Limberger, Kekfrankos, Frankovka, Franconia) thrives in the eastern part of Austria – the Burgenland – and, in particular, the Mittelburgenland DAC, where 75% of the wine production is red. We have both been underwhelmed by red wines made in regions dominated by good whites (notably Alsace) but we are always prepared to be astounded – and thus, confounded.

The wine was a 2009 Blaufrankisch made by Weninger (12.5% ABV) and supplied by Vin Neuf wine merchants in Stratford at circa £9. We drank it at a slightly cool room temperature. The colour was garnet red with very slight purple tones, not particularly clear and showing some windows. It had a  refreshing acidity on the nose which was also vegetal with a hint of smokiness. So far so good.

The palate was that of a dry wine, full-flavoured with rich, cherry-like tartness but rather short and lacking in real finesse. It reminded me of northern Italian reds in its weight and acidity, not particularly distinguished but great with tomato-based dishes.

Verdict –  a well-made wine and good value for the price but, as Richard summarised, it was like ‘village Pinot’. I am going to chill it Sunday night and will add to the report.

(Sunday night – 48 hrs open, chilled. Still rich, fruit is intense, drying cherry-like flavours with a little fruit sweetness. Benefits from chilling.)

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