Brilliantly ruby-hued, this native Austrian variety is a lovely Pinot Noir alternative with just a bit more grip and power.
Region: Burgenland, Austria
Grapes: 100% Blaufränkisch
Body: Fuller Body
Flavors: Dark Blueberry, White Pepper, Licorice
Pairings: Grilled Steak or Sausages
This Austrian Blaufrankisch is deep and ruby in the glass, with rich, roasted purple fruit notes and an aroma of violets and licorice. The palate is true to Blaufrankisch’s classic expression, though a bit lighter on its feet than expected, with white pepper spice and structured tannin throughout. This is an ideal pairing for steak or burgers, especially with sauteed portobellos. Or, keep the Austrian origins alive with grilled sausages and peppers.
Blaufrankisch is one of those grapes you wish you met earlier. The native Austrian variety is known for its brilliant fruit, spicy complexity, and tightrope balance of power and finesse. Nicknamed the “Pinot Noir of the East,” Blaufrankisch is popular in the cooler climes of Hungary, Croatia, Germany, and Northern Italy, where it goes by hundreds of aliases like Kekfrankisch and Lemberger. Its sturdy tannin is what sets it apart from its Western doppelganger, however, meaning Blaufrankisch is a grape that lends itself to ageability. Burgenland, the heart of Austrian wine making, is best-known for other red grapes, like Zweigelt and and Sankt Laurent, but Blaufrankisch is gaining ground as more American producers begin to plant to the grape in regions of Washington, Oregon, and the Finger Lakes, as a hardier alternative to fickle Pinot Noir.