Blue Frank Think Tank (2) tasting Blaufränkisch from around the world

At the Blaufränkisch symposium in May, we tasted 21 examples of Blaufränkisch from around the world chosen by David Schildenecht and Guillaume Antalick, designed to showcase what this grape can do. The presentations that were part of this Blue Frank Think Tank are written up separately.


Karl Schnabel Blaufränkisch Kor 2019 Sudsteiermark, Austria
2.5% alcohol. No added sulfites, biodynamic farming. Slightly lifted nose showing some volatile acidity. Sweet cherries and spices: floral and aromatic. The palate is concentrated and tangy with nice cherry and plum fruit and some sour acid notes. Juicy and showing nice volume and texture, but the volatile acidity is a little too much. 87/100

AR Tauss Blaufränkisch Opok 2017 Sudsteiermark, Austria
11.5% alcohol. No added sulfites. Dusty, spicy, savoury berry and cherry fruit on the nose, with a baked fruit character. The palate is vivid and fresh with high acidity and notes of cherry and plum. The tannins are quite firm on the finish, with a drying character and some grip. Notes of earth and stewed plums, but also some crunchy raspberry. 88/100

Lichtenberger González Blaufränkisch Ried Vorderberg 2018 Leithaberg, Austria
13% alcohol. Calcareous soils. A really nice compact wine showing concentrated berry and cherry fruit with some blackberry notes, and good structure. Shows good fruit purity with some creamy richness in the background and a bit of grip. Has an ease to it. 92/100

Clauss Preisinger Blaufränkisch Erdeluftgrasundreben 2020 Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria
12.5% alcohol. Limestone soils. Light in colour. Sweetly aromatic with red cherries and plums, as well as hints of pepper. The palate is vivid and bright with redcurrant notes, some sappy herbal hints, and also a bit of tannic grip. A light, savoury style with some structure, finishing slightly sour. 91/100


Roterfaden Lemberger Endschleife 2019 Württemberg, Germany
11.5% alcohol. Blue limestone soils. Whole bunches foot trodden for two days, then pressed. Fermented off the skins in barrel with no sulfites added until 14 months. Juicy and lively, this is a lighter-style red with good acidity. It has a sour cherry edge to the cherry and plum fruit with nice brightness and low tannin. It’s almost a red coloured white wine in terms of mouthfeel. Displays the freshness of this variety to good effect: quite an unusual take, but it works. 90/100

Unger Bormanufaktura Csúcsi 2020 Soproni Borvidék, Köszeg, Hungary
12.8% alcohol. Slate, laminated mice, phyllite. Young vines (5 years), aged in a new 500 litre Stockinger barrel. Coffee, chocolate and vanilla on the nose, with creamy black fruits. The palate is less oak-affected with vivid, fresh, pure blackberry and cherry fruit. Impressive in a modern style, but then the oak comes back on the finish, and it’s quite obtrusive. Lovely vital berry and black fruits here, just a shame about all that oak. Could end up in a nice place. 90/100

Weninger Steiner Kékfrankos 2018 Sopron, Hungary
12% alcohol. Gneiss and mica schist, 50 year old vines. Lovely freshness and intensity here with pure blackberry and black cherry fruit, plus vivid acidity that gives an energy to the wine. Juicy, bright and vivid with lovely sour cherry and raspberry on the finish. A striking wine with a nice stony finish. 93/100


Rainer Schnaitmann Lämmler Lemberger 2019 Württemberg, Germany
13% alcohol. Whole bunch ferment then aged in 200 and 500 litre oak, 10% new. Appealing open strawberry and cherry fruit nose with some sappy green hints. The palate is vivid, sappy and fleshy with quite a strong green mulchy component and nice pure fruit. But the greenness works well. Has some spicy detail and finishes fresh. Could develop in interesting ways. 93/100

Heimann & Fiai Svivem Kékfrankos 2019 Szekszárd, Hungary
13.5% alcohol. Calcareous loess soils, planted in the 1960s. 1.5 ha plot with new cordon arms 10 years ago. 30% whole bunch fermentation in plastic open-top vats, aged in large Hungarian barrels (1000 litres). This is supple and open with flesh and elegance. There’s a bright edge, showing nice tannins that fit really well with the cherry and plum fruit. Some green-tinged blackberry on the finish. Fruity, bright and direct but with some seriousness. 94/100


Bott-Frigyes Faricka Kékfrankos 2020 Muzia Hills, Slovakia
13.5% alcohol. Volcanic soil with limestone and clay. Destemmed, aged in barrel for 12 months, minimal sulfites. Vivid and intense with fresh acidity and some brightness to the lively cherry and blackberry fruit. Nice purity here to the fruit, which has some silkiness, as well as an intense acid line, finishing sour. Quite impressive in this super-vivid high-acid style. 93/100

Beneduce Vineyards Blaufränkisch 2018 New Jersey, USA
13.3% alcohol. Deep clay loam, iron-rich. Small batch open fermenters, aged 18 months in 30% new French oak. Has a distinctive coffee and cocoa nose from the oak, with bright cherry and berry notes. The palate is supple, bright and shows lovely fresh berry fruit, with some spicy undertow, and some more oak notes. Juicy, showing lovely fruit: give it some time for the fairly obtrusive oak to integrate. 90/100

Feravino Blaufränkisch Miraz 2018 Slavonia, Croatia
13.5% alcohol. Aged in Slavonian, Hungarian and French oak barrels for 12 months. Supple, fresh and nicely elegant showing bright cherry and plum notes with good acidity and some supporting savoury, stony notes. Really good balance here with a sense of freshness, and an ease. Supple and very drinkable. 92/100

Albiana Modra Frankinja Alto 2017 Dolenjska, Slovenia
12.5% alcohol. Clay/marl soils, aged in French and Slovenian oak of varying sizes (with about 30% new). Vivid and bright, supple and juicy with lively red cherries and plums, as well as some spicy detail. Pure fruit backed up by good acidity, with a nice green hint in the mix. There’s some oak, but it integrates well. 91/100

Šuklje Blaufränkisch Vrbanjka 2018 Bela Krajina, Slovenia
13.5% alcohol. Fresh, concentrated and vivid with lovely blackberry and black cherry fruit with good acidity and lovely fruit intensity. This has a wonderful focus and freshness, with some raspberry crunch. Such a wonderfully expressive wine that manages concentration, freshness and great balance. Fine olive, meat and sage detail here, too. 94/100  

Marof Blaufränkisch Mačkovci 2018 Prekmurje, Slovenia
13.5% alcohol. 20% whole bunch, aged 2 years in large oak, then racked and aged a further two years. Concentrated, intense, brooding and dark with sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit with some lovely savoury, mineral notes. Good structure with a grainy, chalky undercurrent. Superb concentration here, with great balance. 94/100


Moric Blaufrankisch 2020 Burgenland, Austria
12.5% alcohol. Mix of limestone, schist, clay and sand. Aged in old larger oak. Fresh, vivid and pure with good concentration of fresh cherry and berry fruit, supported by good acidity and appropriate structure. Very fresh and fine with amazing purity and concentration, and good acidity. Such a wonderful, pure, vivid example of this variety, with notes of iron and blueberry, and a touch of cocoa dust. 95/100

Dorli Muhr Ried Spitzerberg Erste Lage 2017 Carnuntum, Austria
13% alcohol. Old vines, limestone soils. Large, older oak casks. Fresh, fine, vivid nose with a dusty, spicy edge to the berry fruits. The palate is supple, juicy and fine with a sense of elegance. Wild strawberry and cherry notes, with good acidity and structure. Beautiful refinement here, and it’s already beginning to develop nicely. 94/100

Schiefer Blaufränkisch Ried Szapary ‘S’ 2016 Burgenland, Austria
13% alcohol. Clay, blue slate, quartz. 36 months in large (3000 litre) oak. Concentrated, structured, intense, pure and very fine. This shows perfumed black cherry and blackberry fruit with a fine-grained tannic structure and juicy, lively fruit, finishing with a nice acid line. Such finesse and concentration here with amazing precision. 95/100

Paul Achs Blaufränkisch Altenberg 2016 Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria
14% alcohol. Clay limestone soils. Aged 20 months in used barriques then 10 months in a 1200 litre barrel. This is a rich, powerful expression of Blaufränkisch with broad sweet blackberry and black cherry fruit with a grainy, ashy, gravelly depth on the palate. Bold and rich with lovely intensity and a sour cherry finish. A really big wine with great intensity. 93/100

Prieler Blaufränkisch Ried Goldberg 2015 Leithaberg, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Stony mica schist soil. 26 months in oak. Floral, juicy, lively cherry and berry fruit nose with some wild strawberry. Textured, quite lush palate with lovely red fruits and nice grainy structure with some chalkiness under the fruit. There’s good structure here, but it’s a well balanced textural wine with some freshness. Very stylish. 94/100

Triebaumer Blaufränkisch Mariental 2019 Burgenland, Austria
13.5% alcohol. Poor soils with limestone gravels. The vines need to be old in these soils to give good results, and these age from 35-60 years. 22 months in 300 litre barrels. Fresh, concentrated and pure with lovely intensity to the blackcurrant and black cherry fruit. Good acidity combines with the grainy tannin, and adds a support to the lush but fresh fruit. Very fine and fresh, with a lovely precision and massive potential for development. Such purity to this wine. 96/100

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