Gruner Veltliner is to Austria what Malbec is to Argentina. Gruner is what people think of when they think Austria, but not all of Austria is Gruner country. Over in the far east, at the tail that sticks over through the mountains towards Hungary, the climate is totally different. Here in Burgenland the climate is warmer, the soils denser, and the seasons longer. The region around the town of Deutschkreutz is sheltered by mountains on three sides and perfect for producing full red wines, as J Heinrich demonstrates here.
The Heinrich family has been here in the vicinity of the town of Deutschkreutz for over 300 years. Silvia Heinrich started working at the winery in 2002 when she came back from studying wine making in college. She took over full ownership in 2010 and is determined to produce excellent wines that are classic expressions of this area that is known as "Blaufrankisch land".
Aroma: The J Heinrich has a fruit driven aroma that's mostly fresh crushed raspberries, but also with some darker blackberry qualities too. It's pretty powerful and aromatic. Already from the aroma I can tell this is not a stereotypically light Austrian red. If you dig a bit deeper the Heinrich Blaufrankisch has some more aromas hiding behind all the ripe fruit; licorice and pink peppercorns! It's a very inviting aroma.
Palate: This is a big mouth full of ripe black fruit! Serious blackberry and dark ripe cherries fill your mouth here, but the texture is impressively smooth and elegant considering what a punch of fruit this Blaufrankisch packs. There's not too much tannin, but the finish lingers in a nice refined kind of way. There is just the right amount of acidity to make this Blaufrankisch bright and lively, but not too zingy or noticeably acidic. This is a medium to almost full bodied Blaufrankisch that is so rich and lively that it seems like it's practically jumping out of the bottle.
This may be Silvia's basic Blaufrankisch, but it's delicious. The Heinrich Blaufrankisch shows nice balance and elegance while still maintaining it's excitement and verve. Blaufrankisch isn't a well known grape, but based on what J Heinrich has done with it you should try to get better acquainted with it. Also, this will be a fantastic and refreshing counterpoint to Turkey! The J Heinrich Blaufernakisch retails for about $17 and is available at Aurora Provisions, Browne Trading, Rosemont on Brighton, Rising Tide Market in Damariscotta, and Tess's Market in Brunswick