January 23, 2017
March 1, 2017
The 2016 Blaufränkisch is vivid purple in color, with a dusty, floral nose on opening that gives way to blackberry and cherry, anise, and under-ripe fig. The palate shows more floral and black fruit notes, with river rock, sea salt, lavender, and blueberry compote adding layer upon layer of flavor. Pure and lifted, there is a real complexity to this wine, as each flavor is tied together by the bright acidity, and a subtle earthiness underlies the fruit.
After a little bit of experimentation in 2014 and 2015, we decided to take a little from each vintage for 2016. As in 2015, we picked the Blaufränkisch earlier, at the same time as the Zweigelt, even though this means it is quite low in sugar, but we decided to fully de-stem the clusters, as we had done in 2014. I felt that in 2015 the stems interfered slightly with the wine, whereas I liked the purity of the 2014 version without stems. I think this change has been successfully, as there are a lot of subtle flavors in the wine that I think may have been overwhelmed by stem flavors. Fermentation went smoothly, as did malolactic, and the wine was aged in old oak barrels for about four months. This vintage the wine was very stable in barrel, so we were able to avoid any sulfur usage at all, bottling with no sulfur addition, unfined and unfiltered.