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Sunday, 2 February 2020

Schnaitmann Simonroth Lemberger 2016 - Virgin Wines

Lemberger - Germany's take on Central Europe's great red grape from Virgin Wines

They say life's too short for a German wine label; this one is not excessive, but still hardly snappy.

However, there's really just one word you need to know here and it does not even appear anywhere on the bottle; Blaufränkisch.

Blaufränkisch is central Europe's great red grape; dark-skinned and late-ripening, it has cherry and bramble fruit, spice and fine tannins. In cooler climates, it is delicate, elegant and Pinot-esque; in warmer regions it is fuller, with darker berry fruit, deeper colours and a minty Bordelais character.

Blaufränkisch has many names - Frankovka, Frankovka modrá, Franconia, Kékfrankos and Lemberger - and they all generally mean the same thing, Blue Frankish.

Germany already does brilliant Pinot, so great Blaufränkisch should come as no surprise.

Schnaitmann Simonroth Lemberger 2016 (£24.99, Virgin Wines) berry and cherry fruits with peppery spices, pencil shavings and cloves; soft, elegant and harmonious with very fine tannins. Savoury and fresh with a dense, muscular core.

Somewhat closed up on first opening, it improves with aeration, so don't be afraid to decant; will repay some cellaring.


Match with elegant Burgundian food such as escargots, beef bourguinon or Bresse chicken.

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