Blaufränkisch is a grape with its roots deep in Austria and Germany. It has taken hold in the Finger Lakes and the results are tasty indeed.
During our latest visit to the Finger Lakes, we noticed widespread offerings of Lemberger, which is another name for Blaufränkisch. In my mind Blaufränkisch allows the Finger Lakes winemaker to produce a complex, medium bodied red in an area where the climate isn’t suited to Pinot Noir. It also blends wonderfully with the Finger Lakes best red grape: Cabernet Franc.
Perhaps the best Blaufränkisch/Lemberger wine we tasted was Heron Hill’s 2010 Reserve Blaufränkisch. This is a low production gem that was the highest priced wine on our trip at $39.99.
My wife, the Green Dragon, is quite a cook. Not only does she prepare gourmet meals, but she delights in creating meals to pair with specific wines. When we were in Cleveland we tasted some amazing mushroom bisque at Amp 150. She decided to create her own version. After securing some artisan mushrooms and truffle oil, she cooked a masterful meal.
The soup was topped with homemade parmesan garlic croutons and accompanied by spinach salad and suitably crusty bread. The earthiness of the soup and the delicate earth tones of the Blaufränkisch were a heavenly union.
Heron Hill has an outstanding line of reserve wines and the excellent results were apparent on the palate. Threads of plum, leather and pepper mesh in a smooth, rewarding glass.
For me, the finesse is what is special about this wine. Heron Hill continues to burnish its reputation as one of the Finger Lake’s top wine producers.
Rating: 4 of 5 Value: 3 of 5