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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Blaufränkisch is the Austrian name for the increasingly respected middle European black grape variety the Germans call lemberger. From pre-medieval times it was common to divide grape varieties into the (superior) ‘fränkisch’, whose origins lay with the Franks, and the rest. It is today Austria’s second most planted dark-berried variety after its progeny zweigelt, producing wines of real character, if notably high acidity, when carefully grown. Its good colour, tannin, and raciness encourage the most ambitious Austrian producers, led by Moric, to lavish new oak on it and treat it like single vineyard burgundy. For many years it was thought to be the Beaujolais grape gamay. Bulgarians still call it Gamé, while Hungarians translate its Austrian name more directly as kékfrankos. Austrian dna profiling suggests a parent–offspring relationship with gouais blanc, known in Austria as Heunisch.