2012JohanBlaufrankisch2012 Johan, Blaufrankisch, Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Johan Vineyards near Eola is making some interesting and biodynamic wines, these include two fine Pinot Noirs, a Gruner Veltliner, a Chardonnay, a couple of Pinot Gris, one with extended skin contact “Orange” style and this young vine Blaufrankisch. The Blaufrankisch is still a work in progress, but I found it so interesting and enjoyable I wanted to be sure it got on the radar, it comes from a tiny acre plot on Johan’s home estate from cuttings of Lemberger clone vines in Washington State. Blaufrankisch is Austria’s most noble red grape, though it is also found in Hungary, Italy and Germany where it is known as Lemberger, and it has been in Washington for sometime, and has been made for more than a decade. The Blaufrankisch is a dark wine, but feels more like Pinot Noir on the palate, though more people compare it to Cabernet Franc or even Mencia in Spain, I find it like those too, though I am reminded of Dolcetto as well, it is a medium weight red with spice and floral tones, it usually shows nice acidity and is silky with soft tannins. The Johan shows all the correct varietal character and it is well crafted, it has blackberry, blueberry, cherry and plum fruits with hints of pepper, allspice, beet root, loamy earth notes and a touch of bell pepper. Overall this is a very complete and pleasing wine, but I think it will get more intriguing as the vines getting mature and Johan gains experience with the grape, drink this vintage over the next 2 to 3 years, it is a worthy bottle for exploration no question. Be sure to find the 2011 and the upcoming 2012 Pinots too, especially the under $30 Willamette Valley, it is a very Marsannay like wine that is a super value.
($36 Est.) 88-90 Points, grapelive

By admin