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Blaufränkisch - Roter Traminer

Blaufränkisch - Roter Traminer

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.
I would advise anyone who wants to delve deeply into the origins of grapes to look at ‘Wine Grapes’ by Jancis Robinson et al., the most authoritative tome on the subject. It did help my spinning head a little, but not much, as the Traminer/Savagnin family is more complex than the Ewings of Dallas. Roter Traminer is the same wine as Savagnin Rouge, related to the Gelber Traminer (Savagnin Blanc/Heida) and to Gewürztraminer. Roter Traminer is the predominant Traminer variety in Austria. It has low acidity and literally does smell (and taste) of roses along with dried fruit, marshmallows and citrus notes. In colour it ranges from intensely green to intensely yellow or even a glisten of red. When produced from ripe grapes, it produces wines with pronounced aromas that age well.

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.

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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?).

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