Author: Kristian Kielmayer, Ágnes Herczeg

Blauburger

Blauburger

History

A crossing of Portugieser (Oportó) and Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) created by Dr Fritz Zweigelt in Klosterneuburg, Austria in 1923. Blau means blue in English, while the other part of its name may refer to Klosterneuburg rather than Burgundy. It is related to Gouais Blanc.

Viticultural characteristics

It is an early-ripening variety with medium-sized, round, smooth, uniform, symmetrical and unlobed leaves. It has moderately large, relatively tightly packed clusters with dark blue berries. Wines made from this variety are deeply coloured but have relatively low tannin and acidity. Thus, they are primarily used to add colour to blends.

Where it's grown

The variety is cultivated on 740 hectares in its Austrian homeland, mainly in Lower Austria and, more specifically, the Weinviertel wine region. It makes light red wines or plays a role in blends. It is a relatively neutral, deeply coloured variety with light body, medium alcohol and acidity, and restrained tannins with notes of red berry fruit, elderberry and rosehip. There are also small pockets of it in Germany, around Franconia. In Hungary, the variety is cultivated on 465 hectares, primarily in the Eger wine district, where it plays a role in the Bikavér blends. The most significant proportions are found here, followed by the Bükk wine district. There are currently only 15 hectares of it in the Sopron wine district, yet the Kőszeg producers hold Blauburger in high esteem. It is used to make cool, tight, deeply coloured red wines.

What its wine tastes like

The wines are primarily characterised by deep colour, light body, low tannins, medium alcohol and fresh acidity, while red berry fruit typifies their aroma profile.

Blauburger grape bunch and leaf

Wine & food pairing

Blauburger is particularly deep in colour and is a light, low-tannin wine that is rarely found on its own. It is mostly used in blends and is one of the components of Egri Bikavér. Its wines are generally light and fruity, but this lightness is also coupled with firmness of structure. Its style means it can be appreciated all year round and is thus an everyday wine to enjoy with meals. Hearty baked vegetable dishes, light roast meats or stews, pepper ratatouille, potato gratin, lasagne, meatballs in tomato sauce or spicy fish soup all work well, but it also pairs well with other hearty Hungarian-style dishes. It is a wine that is best drunk when youthful, so choose a wine from the last couple of vintages and consume within a year or two. In a blend, it usually provides fresh firmness and vibrant fruitiness to the finished wine. Always store in a cool place, at a constant temperature, away from direct sunlight and heat, to best preserve its aromas, as its wines oxidise relatively quickly. Serve just below room temperature at about 14-16°C in a tulip-shaped red wine glass. Ingredients that best match the flavour and texture of wines made from Blauburger include root vegetables, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, beetroot, aubergines, tomatoes, mature cheeses, duck, game birds and offal as well as pork, veal and lamb dishes.

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