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VOL. 125 | NO. 114 | Monday, June 14, 2010



Aged Blaufränkisch, Worth the Find

FREDRIC KOEPPEL | Special to The Memphis News

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Wait, wait, wait! Don’t pour out that glass of red wine because it smells like prunes, moss, mulberries and red licorice! That’s the point! It’s not cabernet or merlot or pinot noir! It’s – blaufränkisch!

Yes, another grape grown mainly in Austria – remember gruner veltliner? – that deserves to be known better. To confuse matters, because the world of wine can be confusing, the grape is known in Germany as lemberger OR limburger and in Washington State as lemberger, where a minuscule amount is grown.

The wine in question is the Höpler Blaufränkisch 2004, Burgenland, and the year is significant. Most producers in Austria have released their blaufränkisch wines from 2007, but the local wholesaler held on to a few cases of the ’04, providing smart shoppers with the opportunity to try an example of the wine with a couple of years of age.

For Your Very Own Bottle

Wine Market
4700 Spottswood Ave., $20
Southwind Wine & Spirits
3775 Hacks Cross Road, $20
Poplar Wine & Spirits
2136 W. Poplar Ave., Collierville, $20

At almost six years old, the wine is smooth and mellow, dark, rich and spicy; in addition to the elements mentioned above, a pageant of raspberries, dried red currants, black olives, brambles and cedar parades for your nose, while in the mouth deeply macerated black and blue fruit feels both ripe and roasted and as if it had steeped for a lifetime in some smoky, rooty black tea.

Yeah, it’s all sort of delirious and would be wonderful with a medium rare ribeye steak, doused with plenty of fresh-cracked pepper and sea-salt, all hot and crusty from the grill. Or leftover pizza, which is what I’m sipping a glass with at this precise moment.

For more about wine, check out Koeppel's blog at http://www.biggerthanyourhead.net.

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