Since my trip to Vienna, I wasn’t able to find this producer and was pretty bummed, especially since Austrian wines are all the rage but the selection isn’t that diverse. It seems like the same 4 producers are carried everywhere. At Cafe Sabarsky, I saw they carried half bottles and I went for it. It was almost exactly the same scenario as in Vienna: drink Nittnaus then go upstairs to see an installation of Egon Schiele. Intense, and brilliant. You might see a previous post referring to the Blaufrankisch I had that time, and I think I still prefer it to the Zweigelt, but this was still one of the best I’ve had of its kind. Vigorous, compact fruit, clove-y and very persistent.
Who: Schnapsbrennerei Alois Gölles
Where: Styria, Riegersburg (Austria)
Fully ripe apricots are hand-picked, cleaned, stoned, then mashed and fermented at a controlled temperature. Stones are added to the mash during fermentation to increase the particularity in its taste. The mash is then transferred to copper kettles and distilled in a traditional manner, two times over. The second distillation is what distinguishes it from others, as it enhances the “tertiary” flavors and subdues the heat from the high level of alcohol.
I first tried this when I was in Vienna, and it peaked my interest in brandy. I didn’t really care for it before, but thought I should try something typical of Austria while in town and it was the best decision I made. It turns out Austria does apricots very well (preserves, candies, brandy) and this was no exception. Incredibly balanced, delicate, aromatic and ripe, it’s perfect as a digestif or cold comfort during the long winter.
First time tasting Blaufränkisch, and I have a feeling this was a very good one. I hope I have a chance to try this in the US, but usually the good stuff stays in Europe. Even though I had a few Galoises (lol), it actually broadened the flavors in the wine (i mean, maybe). This was potent, very animated, a trigger happy spicey earth bomb.
FUN FACT: Blaufrankisch is a parent of Gamay