I can say with confidence that before this week, I would have never ordered a glass of Blaufränkisch from a menu. My reasoning: (1) I couldn’t have told you whether that was a red or a white wine and (2) the spelling of that wine suggests an Eastern European origin and if it’s anything like Gewurztraminer, I’m out! These are the sorts of natural biases we have towards unknown wines and why we typically find ourselves ordering and purchasing wines within our comfort zone.
After tasting Blaufränkisch, I can say that it truly exceeded my expectations and differed greatly from my assumptions. To clarify my first confusion, Blaufränkisch is a red wine. Blaufränkisch is known for production in Eastern Europe and referred to as Lemberger when produced in Germany. Historically, Blaufränkisch was thought to be a clone of Gamay (the predominant varietal of Beaujolais) but was recently confirmed to be an independent varietal. Due to it’s spreading popularity throughout Europe, Blaufränkisch has been referred to as the “Pinot Noir of the East”.
As for my tasting experience with this wine, the first note was that this wine definitely required decanting. I find that when a wine is very harsh when initially smelling, the best course of action is to allow the wine to breathe. Decanting is a quick and effective method but pouring a glass and allowing 15 to 30 minutes to pass before tasting is typically sufficient as well. Once I decanted this wine and gave it about 15 minutes, it presented a much different tasting experience. The color was a gorgeous, deep purplish ruby that had a remarkable jewel. The aromas were of white flowers, cherry, oak, baking spices and black pepper. The taste still surpassed the aromas and presented cherry, smoke, and dark berries. This Blaufränkisch was quite smooth in the finish and refreshing in its light to medium body. Though I have not found this wine to be on any lists as a recommended red wine to try chilled, I believe it would have similar attributes to a chilled Gamay, which categorizes the Blaufränkisch as a great summer red wine!
This 2016 Evolucio Blaufränkisch typically retails at about $10-12 and I gave it a four out of five corks rating.