Stinky Wine?

Limberger CheeseLemberger is probably not the best name for a wine. The first thing that springs to mind is a seriously stinky industrial cheese (Limberger); something your father or grandfather ate after loosing a bet. Lemberger is named for its grape variety (a varietal wine) which is officially known as Blaufränkisch, the noble red grape of Austria. Call me crazy but I think Blaufränkisch is a better name. Blau means blue in German, While Fränkisch dates back to the reign of Charlemagne (medival vineyard owner, ruler and namesake of Corton-Charlemagne) who classified high quality varieties as “Franconian” (Fränkisch) and lesser ones “Hunnic” (heunisch). Blue-blooded nobility over foul funky cheese? Gimmee some help here marketing gurus. . . It's also known as Kékfrankos in Eger, Hungary where it's the principal grape variety in Egri Bikavér, which is Bull's Blood of Eger in English. Now there's a name! I bought this bottle last fall in Oregon at a Fred Meyer (We also found several Louis/Dressner wines there so they must be doing something right). grocery store on a whim and it sat around here in London until recently (I swear a Blaufränkisch would have been consumed months earlier). It was a very pleasant surprise and my first taste of wines from Kiona Vineyards. I'll be sure to look out for more of them this summer when we return to Oregon. Kiona Lemberger 20022002 Kiona Lemberger Columbia Valley, Washington State 13% Sight Medium ruby red with edge beginning to go brick Nose Black Currant, blackberry, light spice, very elegant nose. bit of oak/vanilla peaking through and a little peaty smokiness. Very interesting. . . PalateMed to Light bodied black currant anics, med tannins, Dr. Pepper-like finish. :D Very good, very suprising and a great value (aprox. $12) for such an elegant wine Find this wine. Besides the name, I don't think Kiona is doing itself any favors with its label. The glittery Vegas showgirl look makes it seem cheap and dated and a little sad. "Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl. . . " Their 2003 has a more tasteful label but I don't think tasteful is what you need, especially if you're up against the 3 second rule. Why not just use the Bull thing and go for all those Red Bull hipsters? Especially since they have many other more interesting labels for their wines.

3 Comments

Steve De Long
Steve De Long

June 16, 2014

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the note on the 1998 Lemberger — another pleasant surprise from this excellent winemaker!

Matt
Matt

June 16, 2014

I love Kiona. I had never tasted any of there wines until a few months ago Rain City Grill’s Sommollier, Brent Hayman, opened their 1998 Lemberger. Man was it good – that is compared to what I expected. It was definately still hanging on, with good acidity though super mellow tannins. I loved the fennel note running throughout which I think would make it a great match some herb crusted lamb. I hope they get a liitle more recognition – they are sure dogged about growing lemberger and are Washingtons best producer (if only one of note) and have proven that they age well too!
Matt

Darby
Darby

June 16, 2014

Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia use this variety. As far as I am aware they are the only winery using it. They make a varietal Lemberger and also a rose style fom a blend of Lemberger and Trollinger, another rare German variety. Both are excellent wines.

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