FINE WINE Articles & Reviews Wine and Food Diary of Giles MacDonogh


Written by Giles MacDonogh


Posted: 1st Novemeber 2019

I became acquainted with the Central European grape variety Blaufränkisch at the beginning of the nineties, when I was working on my first book on Austrian wine. It was Austria’s most prestigious black grape and naturally they were plugging it for all its worth. I went sucking and spitting from estate to estate in Mittelburgenland where some of the wines struck me as being like decent cru bourgeois claret, while others were rather dried out and hard. The problem, it seemed to me, was a certain fragility of fruit. The simplest were the best. If you put the wines into small oak, particularly new barriques, they suffered. The best way to proceed was to age the wine in large tuns, and not for too long, but in those days small oak was the emperor’s new clothes – Austrians couldn’t get enough of it.


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Giles MacDonogh

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