This is a contribution by Jeremy Dugan, wine buyer at The Wine Country in Long Beach.
Not too often does an Austrian wine get to be Wine of the Month. But when I sat down with Orshi Kiss, our Blue Danube Representative, and tried this Blaufrankisch from Weingut Pfneisl in Burgenland, Austria, the second thing I did after enjoy it myself was take it back to Randy and said “We could do this for Wine of the Month in December.” The rest of the staff tried it and everyone was in agreeance, this wonderfully balanced medium bodied red wine is the type of crowd pleasing, goes well with everything kind of wine people love. Especially at $13.99 for a liter! But who is Weingut Pfneisl? And who the heck are Birgit and Katrin?
Once named Pfneiszl when they lived in Hungary over 100 years ago, the family moved to Austria to escape Communism, dropped the z from their last name and kept making wine like they did in their home country. Since 1993, the Pfneisls have had two wineries, one in Austria (Pfneisl) and the other in their ancestral Hungarian lands(Pfneiszl). The Austrian winery has been ran by Franz Pfneisl and his brothers while the Hungarian one has been ran by his two Daughters; Birgit and Katrin. More recently, the Daughters have been going over the boarder to make wines at Pfneisl, one of which is a collaboration with Blue Danube, this beautiful Blaufrankisch.It might be a tad confusing with the wine being called Blaufranker, is it a blend of different reds, being predominately Blaufrankisch? No, just good old Austrian Blaufrankisch.
Originating in Austria, being first recorded in 1862, Blaufrankisch (German for Blue Frankish), is one of the most popular red grapes in its home country. Typically they have red fruit characteristics, sometimes robust and full they can also be delicate and short on the finish. Luckily for us, Birgit and Katrin’s Blaufranker has the best of both worlds. Roasted cherry and delicate rose petal notes give it a wonderful balance of robust and subtle. Soft minerality and hints of earthy flavors give it a drier, rounder finish without being tannic. This is the kind of wine that can be opened, put on a table and gone before you realize it. It can go with a cheese plate, red meat or roasted chicken. You can put a chill on it if you want more of a candied cherry and floral notes to pop, or without to get the full bodied flavors. A wine that goes with a lot and will please a ton, exactly what you want from a Wine of the Month.
We’re 100% in agreement, the 2015 Pfneisl Blaufränker is so fun and delicious! “In it twinkle the stars and sun,” the Pfneisl sisters tell us about the wine, “the wildness of nature, the faces of our friends and family and maybe yours too!.” Happy Holidays!