2011Carnuntum2011 Muhr-Van der Niepoort, Carnuntum, Blaufrankisch, Burgenland, Austria.
The noble varietal of Blaufrankisch, known in Germany and places in the new world as Lemberger is also known in Hungary as Kekfrankos, is a very worthy grape and one that can produce stunning wines, though mostly in Austria where is really shines, like this fabulous example from from Burgenland’s Carnuntum. This beautiful tank raised Blaufrankisch was crafted by Dirk Niepoort the famous head of the Niepoort Oporto in Portugal where he is considered one of the top Port houses and is highly regarded for his wonderfully made still wines as well. Recently in a highly viewed online rant by Robert Parker the world’s greatest wine critic where he was defending himself and pushing back against a wave of new trends in the wine world he mentioned offhandedly that he thought Blaufrankisch was a hipster fad and that the grape was insipid and over hyped, well, I can tell you this is idiotic at best and one of the very few times Mr Parker is blatantly wrong! Blaufrankisch is a historic varietal and makes for incredibly interesting wines, it is labeled the Pinot of the East, because of it’s class and distinction and has many times been critically acclaimed by well regarded wine journalists and masters of wines, as well as sommeliers in most influential markets. I think it is a graceful, flavorful and intriguing grape and have wines of merit from Hungary, Germany, Washington, Oregon, California and it’s spiritual home of Austria and I highly recommend checking it out, especially this beauty, the 2011 Carnuntum from Niepoort. The nose is perfumed with fresh and dried flowers, blackberry and mineral leading to a medium weight palate of fresh raspberry, spiced plum, licorice, strawberry/rhubarb, loam, truffle and earthy gravel notes. This is a bright and fresh, unoaked version and should be enjoyed in it’s first 3 to 5 years, don’t miss it, this is glorious stuff.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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