Grapelive: Wine of the Day January 17, 2017

2015Wetzer2015 Wetzer, Kekfrankos, Sopron Hungary.
Peter Wetzer’s beautifully delicate and flavorful Kekfrankos is a new Hungarian treasure, and for those not familiar with Kekfrankos, it’s the same grape as Blaufrankisch found just to the west in Austria. Lots of eastern Austria was part of Hungary until as recently as 1921, so there are many of the same grapes and terroirs, plus there were many German settlers in this area especially that brought their farming style with them. Peter’s Kekfrankos is a mostly natural style wine, he works hard to farm his vines as to keep them as organic as possible and his cellar work is minimalist allowing native ferments and raising his wine on the lees in used Hungarian cask. With it’s simple and stylish label and red wax capsule, the Wetzer Kekfrankos reminds me of Lapierre Morgon in many ways, it is ripe and pure with vibrancy, fresh detail and silky tannins. Kekfrankos or Blaufrankisch is less acid driven than Gamay or Pinot Noir, but close and it can have flavors that are like Loire Cabernet Franc at times, Wetzer’s is medium weight, fruit forward and loaded with blueberry, bright cherry, tree picked plum and earthy mulberry fruit along with mixed spices, loamy/mineral plus hints of cedar, anise and chalk. A subtle sweet and sour herb notes adds to the whole, and this impressive red highlights it’s sense of place, allowing the soils, which are iron rich in parts, along with limestone, loess and gravel, to shine through on the poised and vital palate. It takes a bit of coaxing and air, but a light perfume of wild flowers and dried rose petal emerges as does a underflow of tangy currant as well as peppery notes. This is lovely stuff, it is always amazing to discover the mysteries of Eastern European wines and regions, I had not had the Wetzer before, I guess he has a following in parts of Europe and in the UK, he doesn’t make a lot of wine, so you’ll need to search for it, imported by Blue Danube Wine Company.
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive