WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

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WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:48 am

I had several friends over for a Lemberger (Blaufrankisch) tasting, picnic and bonfire yesterday (9/5). However, due to the weather (cool, breezy and overcast) we held the festivities inside. Of course, I made too much food (grilled strip loin, watermelon salad, corn, olive tepenade, hummus, bruschetta, cheeses, etc.). Seven of us participated in the blind tasting of 8 wines. Most of the group can appreciate a good wine, but, except for me, none had ever scored wines blind before, so it was a fun experience. One of the group admitted to palate fatigue and simply scored the last 3 wines very low, so I tossed all those scores out.

No. Me Avg. Rank Wine
1. 15 14.2 6 2007 Keuka Springs (Finger Lakes)
2. 17 14.3 5 2006 Shooting Star Blue Franc (WA)
3. 13 14.8 3 2009 Don DeMaison's Estate Bottled (Niagara County, NY)
4. 16 11.3 8 2005 Glatzer (Austria)
5. 16 15.3 2 2009 Hart's (from Don DeMaison's grapes - Niagara County, NY)
6. 13 12.0 7 2006 Kiona (WA)
7. 17 15.5 1 2003 Goose Watch (Finger Lakes)
8. 18 14.5 4 2006 Neckenmarkt (Austria)

I have a few comments regarding the wines. Shooting Star is a CA winery that sourced it’s Lemberger from WA. I also liked the idea that they called the wine “Blue Franc”. Lemberger makes one think of stinky cheese and Blaufrankisch sounds foreign and one has to think about how to pronounce it, so would calling the grape and wine “Blue Franc” make it more appealing? While there were differences in the wines, it seemed to me there were a lot more similarities. For color and hue, none were inky dark, nor were any rosé-like. They were all solid, medium bodied reds. Based on standards for the NY State Fair, all but two of the wines would have been awarded medals. Don DeMaison is a friend and grape grower. He was one of the tasting group and both wines made from his grapes exhibited more pepperiness than the other wines. I’m not sure if this is terroir thing or because they were much younger than any of the others. The top scoring wine, 2003 Goose Watch (Finger Lakes) seems to indicate that wine from this grape can age nicely. A few folks from WA highly recommended the Kiona, so I purchased this when visiting there for my granddaughter’s 1st birthday in May. I was surprised that it scored so low. I detected some brett and it seemed to have a bit of residual sugar in the finish.
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Well....

Postby TomHill » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:45 am

Howie Hart wrote:I had several friends over for a Lemberger (Blaufrankisch) tasting, picnic and bonfire yesterday (9/5). However, due to the weather (cool, breezy and overcast) we held the festivities inside. Of course, I made too much food (grilled strip loin, watermelon salad, corn, olive tepenade, hummus, bruschetta, cheeses, etc.). Seven of us participated in the blind tasting of 8 wines. Most of the group can appreciate a good wine, but, except for me, none had ever scored wines blind before, so it was a fun experience. One of the group admitted to palate fatigue and simply scored the last 3 wines very low, so I tossed all those scores out.

No. Me Avg. Rank Wine
1. 15 14.2 6 2007 Keuka Springs (Finger Lakes)
2. 17 14.3 5 2006 Shooting Star Blue Franc (WA)
3. 13 14.8 3 2009 Don DeMaison's Estate Bottled (Niagara County, NY)
4. 16 11.3 8 2005 Glatzer (Austria)
5. 16 15.3 2 2009 Hart's (from Don DeMaison's grapes - Niagara County, NY)
6. 13 12.0 7 2006 Kiona (WA)
7. 17 15.5 1 2003 Goose Watch (Finger Lakes)
8. 18 14.5 4 2006 Neckenmarkt (Austria)

I have a few comments regarding the wines. Shooting Star is a CA winery that sourced it’s Lemberger from WA. I also liked the idea that they called the wine “Blue Franc”. Lemberger makes one think of stinky cheese and Blaufrankisch sounds foreign and one has to think about how to pronounce it, so would calling the grape and wine “Blue Franc” make it more appealing? While there were differences in the wines, it seemed to me there were a lot more similarities. For color and hue, none were inky dark, nor were any rosé-like. They were all solid, medium bodied reds. Based on standards for the NY State Fair, all but two of the wines would have been awarded medals. Don DeMaison is a friend and grape grower. He was one of the tasting group and both wines made from his grapes exhibited more pepperiness than the other wines. I’m not sure if this is terroir thing or because they were much younger than any of the others. The top scoring wine, 2003 Goose Watch (Finger Lakes) seems to indicate that wine from this grape can age nicely. A few folks from WA highly recommended the Kiona, so I purchased this when visiting there for my granddaughter’s 1st birthday in May. I was surprised that it scored so low. I detected some brett and it seemed to have a bit of residual sugar in the finish.


That's one weird-a$$ tasting, Howie. Actually....one that'd be right up my alley.
I have, of course, followed Lemberger from the very start. Had several from WashState back in the mid-'70's and kinda took a shine to them (from WashState, anyway). They seem to have a plummy
fruit to them a bit like a Lodi Zin, a bit like a Mourvedre; but w/ a distinct earthiness to them. The ones I've had from Austria have been on the lighter side, towards the Beaujolais side of the
equation,; but that same sort of rustic earthiness.
Surprised the Kiona didn't fare better. I had one in the last month that I found underwhelming; but their earlier ones were quite good, some of the best I've had.
If you look closely at the label of Jed's ShootingStar Lemberger, you can barely make out a visage of some sorta-famous person on it. The very first BlueFrankish had DougNalle's
picture, traditional baseball hat and all, buried in there. Doug is one of Jed's heros (alas, in our society we live in these days, there are waaaay to many celebrities and not enough heros out there). Don't recall who
some of the others have been, but he should have had DarrellCorti on there by now, another of Jed's heros (and mine as well).
Not had any FingerLakes Lembergers. And I noticed yours was #2. There wasn't some funny stuff going on behind the scenes w/ the numbers was there, Howie??? :-)
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Jenise » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:41 pm

Surprised the Kiona didn't fare better. I had one in the last month that I found underwhelming; but their earlier ones were quite good, some of the best I've had.


Tom, I had the 06 and where I usually like Kiona's Lembergers a LOT, I thought the 06 was a bit weak and not up to their usual standards.
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Re: Well....

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:42 pm

TomHill wrote:Not had any FingerLakes Lembergers. And I noticed yours was #2. There wasn't some funny stuff going on behind the scenes w/ the numbers was there, Howie??? :-)
Tom
No hanky panky Tom. I used the same protocol as our local AWS chapter uses. In fact, the pourer, who was also a designated driver is a retired police detective. Well, maybe that doesn't answer your question. :wink: To get back to the subject of the similarities, I could not pick my wine out of the lineup and was surprised at it's showing. Regarding the wine making, Don and I used the same grapes, but different techniques. His was a simple fermentation, while I put mine through malo-lactic fermentation and aged it on oak chips. Incidentally, Don is in the process of building a winery and hopes to use the 2010 for his first vintage. He also grown Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, all vines now being about 5-6 years old. In fact, this year the grapes are ripening very early and I'll be picking up Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from him tomorrow. I thought the 2006 Neckenmarkt (Austria) was superb - good color and nose and a complex, long finish. I was also intrigued by Shooting Star's Label, (is that a currency Franc?) and the 2003 Goose Watch.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Hoke » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:10 pm

Interesting, Howie...I just recently tried a series of Austrian wines, and one of them was the Neckenmarkt Blaufrankisch!

I thought it was pretty good too. Classed it as an excellent intro wine for the variety.

And like the superannuated Tom Hill, I've been a fan of Kiona Lembergers in the past (though I think some of their recent stylings have rendered it fairly tame and subdued).

I've had Glatzer before, but not for quite a while, so can't comment on that.

The others are unknown to my taste buds.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:52 am

shooting_star_bluefranc_06.jpg
shooting_star_bluefranc_06.jpg (46.57 KiB) Viewed 2246 times

Here is the Shooting Star label, which I found interesting. Is that a copy of some sort of currency? :?:
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:04 am

More than the performance by the Kiona (I've enjoyed their wines, but find them consistently inconsistent), I am somewhat shocked at the poor performance of the Glatzer for thegroup. I've always found the Glatzer wines to be very typical of their variety, really setting a sort of benchmark for what the grape should taste like. Were the other wines significantly riper? Glatzer does tend to be lighter.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:47 am

I rated the Glatzer pretty high. My notes indicated that it was the most tannic of the wines, had a complex nose and medium finish. I liked it, but I think some of the tasters may have been looking for fruity. I think if the local chapter of the AWS was doing this tasting, the Glatzer would have fared much better.
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Re: Well....

Postby Joe Moryl » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:07 am

TomHill wrote: .....Not had any FingerLakes Lembergers. And I noticed yours was #2. There wasn't some funny stuff going on behind the scenes w/ the numbers was there, Howie??? :-)
Tom


Shame on you Tom: Niagara County is not in the Finger Lakes! This is like mixing up Arroyo Grande Valley and Paso Robles, or some such.

Howie: I haven't tried too many recent FL Lembergers that I've wanted to buy. Sometimes I like the one that is made by Fox Run, and Keuka Spring has made a few nice examples. Strangely, the best one I have ever had was a super premium bottling called the Kylix Cuvee from the extremely eccentric Seneca Shores Winery. Most of their wines are so bad I haven't bothered stopping by in recent years.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Jenise » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:02 pm

Hoke wrote:And like the superannuated Tom Hill, I've been a fan of Kiona Lembergers in the past (though I think some of their recent stylings have rendered it fairly tame and subdued).


I first tasted Kiona Lemberger when we lived in Alaska, and we moved from there 15ish years ago. I remember it as a denser, bolder, unfiltered style of wine, which fits perfectly with your characterization of it nowadays being more 'tame and subdued'. As was the 06 even compared to another prior vintage I had, though I don't remember which it was.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby alex metags » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:41 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Here is the Shooting Star label, which I found interesting. Is that a copy of some sort of currency? :?:


It's an old French franc note. You can check out the image at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1569606.stm

Winemaker Jed Steele also mentions this in his narrative about the wine on his website. "In a flash of inspiration I selected a French Franc note as our label, getting approval for which was no easy task." http://tinyurl.com/28edl5f

Has anyone tried the Glatzer Zweigelt?
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Awwwwright....

Postby TomHill » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:13 pm

Joe Moryl wrote:
TomHill wrote: .....Not had any FingerLakes Lembergers. And I noticed yours was #2. There wasn't some funny stuff going on behind the scenes w/ the numbers was there, Howie??? :-)
Tom


Shame on you Tom: Niagara County is not in the Finger Lakes! This is like mixing up Arroyo Grande Valley and Paso Robles, or some such.



Awwwwright, Joe.......I stand here afore all of WLDG, my head bowed in shame, for not knowing my wine geography better. NewYork....isn't that someplace
back East of the Mississippi?? They're all the same to my perspective from out West here. They grow grapes back there?? Who'd thunk!!!
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Victorwine » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:00 pm

Alex wrote;
It's an old French franc note. You can check out the image at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1569606.stm

Winemaker Jed Steele also mentions this in his narrative about the wine on his website. "In a flash of inspiration I selected a French Franc note as our label, getting approval for which was no easy task." http://tinyurl.com/28edl5f

So was the wine named after the old traditional name of Lemberger or the “blue Franc” currency note on the label?

BTW Howie Good luck with this years harvest!

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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:22 pm

Victorwine wrote:... So was the wine named after the old traditional name of Lemberger or the “blue Franc” currency note on the label?
BTW Howie Good luck with this years harvest!
Salute
As I mentioned in my original post, I think calling the grape / wine "Blue Franc" would be an improvement over Lemberger or Blaufrankisch, at least for marketing. Thanks and same to you Victor. I'm picking up Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris tomorrow - very early this year.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby James Roscoe » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:40 am

Sorry I missed this thread Howie. This sounds like a great tasting. I wish I could have been there. Are you bottling Lemberger this year?
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:21 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Sorry I missed this thread Howie. This sounds like a great tasting. I wish I could have been there. Are you bottling Lemberger this year?
Yes, I plan on making about 7 gallons this year. Already started PN and PG.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Wick White » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:13 am

Blaufränkisch or Lemberger (how the Germans call it) get their peppery taste from silt in the earth. The more silt the more the peppery taste. If your Blaufränkisch has a heavy peppery tasting the Blaufränkisch of Rosi Schüster (St Margarethen, Burgenland - Austria) could be interesting for you as a wine grower. One of the most intensive peppery tasting Blaufränkisch i know about.
Here is her website: http://www.rosi-schuster.at/

In Hungary Blaufränkisch is known as Kekfrankos :) Another name to add to your list :)
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby alex metags » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:50 am

Interesting about the silt. I take it Kékfrankos has the same literal meaning as Blaufränkisch? Some Hungarian Kékfrankos does get to the US. Haven't had one in a while, but do have a bottle lying around somewhere in the closet :D
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:43 am

Regarding the silt, my friend Don's vineyard is located low on the Niagara Escarpment, which means that before the last of the glaciers retreated about 12,000 years ago, his location was at the bottom of Lake Ontario. It is now 8 miles from the lake.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:57 pm

Howie Hart wrote:
James Roscoe wrote:Sorry I missed this thread Howie. This sounds like a great tasting. I wish I could have been there. Are you bottling Lemberger this year?
Yes, I plan on making about 7 gallons this year. Already started PN and PG.
OOPS! Don's Lemberger crop became zilch, due to a delay in his spray program - grapes botrycized. All the rest of his crop is OK. So that means the remaining bottles of my Lemberger have just become precious.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Victorwine » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:44 am

That’s a shame Howie. Was Don’s Lemberger completely mummified or just partially? How’s your vines doing, are you going to see any “estate” wine this year?

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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:06 am

Victorwine wrote:That’s a shame Howie. Was Don’s Lemberger completely mummified or just partially? How’s your vines doing, are you going to see any “estate” wine this year?

Salute
After sever sorting. Don was only able to salvage enough Lemberger to make a 5-gallon batch for himself. I'm planning on making "Estate Bottled" Chambourcin this year. I will also get a small quantity of Vignoles, which I will probably blend into this year's sparkling cuvee.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:06 am

Victorwine wrote:That’s a shame Howie. Was Don’s Lemberger completely mummified or just partially? How’s your vines doing, are you going to see any “estate” wine this year?

Salute
After sever sorting. Don was only able to salvage enough Lemberger to make a 5-gallon batch for himself. I'm planning on making "Estate Bottled" Chambourcin this year. I will also get a small quantity of Vignoles, which I will probably blend into this year's sparkling cuvee.
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Re: WTN: 8 Lembergers (Blaufrankisch)

Postby James Roscoe » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:08 am

Howie Hart wrote:
Victorwine wrote:That’s a shame Howie. Was Don’s Lemberger completely mummified or just partially? How’s your vines doing, are you going to see any “estate” wine this year?

Salute
After sever sorting. Don was only able to salvage enough Lemberger to make a 5-gallon batch for himself. I'm planning on making "Estate Bottled" Chambourcin this year. I will also get a small quantity of Vignoles, which I will probably blend into this year's sparkling cuvee.

That's too bad. There is always next year. Wine is like that.
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