2019 Straka Blaüfrankisch 'Amphora Red'
Region: Burgenland < Austria
Vineyard/Cellar stats: Organic/biodynamic farming; magmatic rock + green schist soils at 450-480 meters above sea level; open mash fermented and aged in Georgian clay amphoras; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 12.5% ABV; 100 cases
Winemaker: Tom Straka
The Straka estate is located in the Eisenberg district of Burgenland, Austria. This family run estate date back over 84 years, deeply rooted in the winemaking traditions of the region. Tom took over the estate in 2008, turning the focus to organic viticulture and minimal intervention in the cellar. Tom has become a part of the new wave of forward-thinking winemakers in Austria, embracing biodiversity and other tenets of biodynamics philosophy.
Blaüfrankisch, the major grape in this part of Austria, grows throughout central Europe and wears many names (Kékfrankos, Franconia). Many consider it "Pinot-esque" because of the natural level of acidity. Straka's Blaüfrankisch is unique in that it is grown on intensely volcanic soils and made in a super old-school, natural way (aging in Georgian clay amphora, no added So2, no fining or filtering). And this treatment takes the charm of this easy-going grape to a whole new level -- rather than pretty but one-dimensional, you get layers of bright, soft, tart red fruit (cranberry, cherry) and spice (lingering cinnamon and clove) plus a zippy acid lift on the finish. It would be an amazing food wine, but its also quite lovely on its own. We like it with a slight chill, but that's entirely optional.