Region: Eisenberg (Austria)
Schiefer's classy entry Blaufränkisch is drawn from one hectare of hand-harvested, 25-year-old vines rooted in Purbach's sandy loam, mica schist and Muschelkalk. Spontaneously fermented in open vats, it's aged in large Austrian and Slovenian tronconique barrels for 12-18 months on lees and rested in bottle for at least a further 12 months. The Wine Advocate has written, "Schiefer's Blaufränkisch are simply profoundly delicious and no wine lovers should miss the chance to taste them." This is a case in point, though in its elegant, vibrant and red-fruited personality, it's a more accessible expression than the Domaine's long-living Eisenberg cuvées (yet there is still some inky depths on offer here). From a cool, late harvest, it's an aromatic, pure-fruited and graceful Blau with layers of ripe plum, raspberry and inky spice leads to a crunchy, racy close.