Sunday, 2 February 2020
Schnaitmann Simonroth Lemberger 2016 - 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.