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Region: Carnuntum < Austria
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, granite/limestone soil, no added SO2, native yeast, unfined/unfiltered
Winemaker: Dorli Muhr
Together with Portuguese Dirk Niepoort, famous for his Port and Douro wines, Austrian Dorli Muhr resuscitated her family vineyards in a protected nature preserve to produce some of Austria’s very finest Blaufränkisch. The Romans planted vines in the easternmost Austrian winemaking region, Carnuntum, many ages ago, but it had fallen into wine oblivion. Blaufränkisch sits somewhere flavor and weight-wise between Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo and Syrah, but remains distinctively Austrian. Soils are limestone-rich, all work is done by hand, and the cellar – actually more of a shed – is like a mad scientist’s lab with with different potions brewing. Some grapes are foot-trodden, some whole cluster fermentation, some with extended periods of maceration, then all the juice is combined to age in neutral barrel. You get sour cherry, plum and plush tannins, with lively acidity and a warm, spicy finish. This is one I could drink all night…