#WineWednesday Spotlight #15: Muhr-van der Niepoort Blaufränkisch Spitzerberg

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Dorli Muhr of Muhr-van der Niepoort

…in abstract terms, this wine from the growing region Carnuntum at the far eastern end of Austria offers a marvellous combination of purpose and charm.

More elegant than most of the monumental Blaufränkisch that neighbouring Burgenland produced in the blockbuster red wine vintage 2012, the colour is a deep ruby red with violet highlights, showing slightly lighter at the rim.

A vivid and multifacetted aromatic profile incorporates subtle hints of the old cigar-box – both the substance of which the box was made and its contents – which manifest themselves as a light spiciness on the surface of a bouquet characterised by deep, dark cherry and blackberry fruit.

The Spitzerberg. Photo: Jon Bonne/The Chronicle

On the palate, the wine delivers such a solid sense of substance that one is not really prepared for the grace and delicacy of its overall impression. The luscious texture of the Blaufränkisch fruit (again, dark cherries and blackberry) is supported by a nearly seamless framework of soft, ripened tannins and pert acidity, coming together in a finish that integrates this great vineyard site’s storied minerality with the generous material grown on the vine.

Excellent length, comparatively low alcohol – 13° on the label and I think (for once) somebody is telling the truth – even though the wine is very approachable and gratifying to drink now just after release, it should have a long and happy life in the cellar; at ten years of age it should fool more than one blind taster into thinking that they have Chambolle-Musigny in their glass.

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