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Amigne - Blaufränkisch
You're exploring Amigne 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.
Amigne is grown around the village of Vétroz in Valais, Switzerland, and pretty much nowhere else on the planet. Very rare, very versatile, very delicious!
There are only 18 authorised growers in the area. For this reason it is often referred to as Amigne de Vétroz. The name ‘Amigne’ is derived from the Latin ‘amoenus’ meaning enjoyable or delicious.
From the Romans onwards there has been much debate as to the origin of the grape. Nevertheless, it is grown on terraced vineyards made up of glacial moraine and black schist which help provide Amigne with its unique character.
The wine made from Amigne ranges from bone dry to syrupy sweet, including Amigne flétrie made from grapes left to shrivel and concentrate on the vine.
When it comes to residual sugar, there is a system introduced in 2005, not unlike the putonya system for Tokaj wines. For Amigne they use Bees (Abeilles) which indicate three levels of sweetness with three Bees being the sweetest.
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).
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?).