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Blaufränkisch - St Laurent

Blaufränkisch - St Laurent

Blaufränkisch is considered by many to be the most impressive Austrian red grape. A dark-berried variety which produces wines of real character, which are deeply fruity with fine acidity, good tannins and with typical flavours of liquorice and dark berries.

The Blaufränkisch grape is grown throughout eastern Europe but many of the best Blaufränkish wines are from Austria where it makes a fruity and spicy red wine that is graceful, powerful, complex with a refreshing acidity. Blaufränkisch has Pinot Noir's versatility - it can be made as rosé, a light and fruity red, clean and well bodied or aged and oaked. Thanks to the acidity and tanins it ages exceptionally well.

In Germany Blaufränkish is typically called Lemberger and in Hungary it is called Kékfrankos.

Our Blaufränkisch wines mostly come from great producers in the Austrian Burgenland region which has an ideal climate for Blaufränkisch. Our reference Blaufränkisch would be Gunter & Regina Triebaumer but we offer a wide choice of styles and terroirs so you can explore Blaufränkisch in all its facets. For example, Kiss is dense and mineral, Heidi Schröck's will show fruit and crystalline purity while Alex Schreiner makes it in an almost Italian style. We can offer a small selection of cult Blaufränkisch on occasion. We also sometimes have Kékfrankos from Hungary.

Pick yours, or scroll down to learn more.

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The Best Hunnish Grape

The name Blaufränkisch comes from the Middle Ages & the late Holy Roman Empire. Back then it was fashionable to think that everything good came from the original emperor, Charlemagne, and everything lesser came from the local Germanic/Eastern stock. So everything was classified into "Frankisch" and "Hunnisch".

Blaufränkisch, being a much favoured grape, was declared "The Quintessential Frankisch Wine".

It was of course, an early example of marketing, as ironically, DNA analysis has proven it was very much a local hunnish grape.

PS: In Germanic traditions the grapes are named on what colour they look like when ripe, rather than the colour of the wine they make. Hence most of the red wine grapes are called "blue", as they look blueish in the vineyard. In French traditions, they use the same logic and call the red grapes "black" (if you wipe the blue grape clean, it is black underneath).

Lineage

It is not known precisely where Blaufränkisch originated, but through DNA profiling it can be narrowed down to Austria, Hungary or Dalmatia.

Blaufränkisch is a child of Gwäss and a parent of Zweigelt and Blauer Portugieser amongst others. It has a seriously good lineage (juiceline?).

With its somewhat low yield, the variety is considered difficult in the vineyard and was not always appreciated. It needs good sites with deep soils. It is sensitive during the flowering period and sensitive to late frost. It brings inconsistent yields.

Like many other grape varieties, the facts behind its origins are not easily confirmed. One theory suggests that cuttings were offered by a grape collector called Saint-Laurent du Var while another that it comes from Alsace, where it was known as Schwarzer. Although it shares its name with a number of French villages, there is nothing to suggest that they had anything to do with the naming of this grape. Most likely is the idea mentioned above that it was named after the patron saint of chefs, whose patronal festival coincides with the traditional day on which the berries change colour. It is one of the first grapes planted at the monastery of Klosterneuburg in their experimental vineyard in 1863.

If you are a fan of Zweigelt, remember that in 1922 Fritz Zweigelt combined the Sankt Laurent grape with Blaüfrankisch to create Zweigelt. It is a very good parent indeed.

It is not however closely related to Pinot. Sankt Laurent is not the same as Pinot Saint-Laurent. Although Sankt Laurent is not Pinot Noir, any more than Carménère is Merlot, there are some similarities to be found. If you like a meatier, gamier Pinot Noir, try this – you will not be disappointed!

ophisticated wine with a lingering finish that continues to delight for ages. It pairs well with most food, especially meats and as many commentators advise, those foods which you shouldn’t really eat like barbeques, cheese and anything fatty.

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