Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Tues 20 May 2008

Yes, indeed, who or what is Kékfrankos? And if I say Blaufränkisch, does that help? Didn't think so.

Now I am back to drinking wine (rather than studying it), I've decided to have a good stab at the Wine Century. After all, it's a list (and I love lists) and it involves wine - in other words, a list driven reason to drink more widely!

I'd spotted a bottle of Riverview Merlot Kékfrankos in the supermarket the other week. Just £4.99 a bottle, it has a stand out modern label - all pink and purple. The wine is from the Hilltop winery in Hungary: according to the site, this is the Hungarian wine most widely exported to the UK, and you should find it relatively easy to pick up.

Look for this label!

Now, the chances are we're all pretty comfortable with Merlot: one of the main red grapes of Bordeaux, widely grown in the New World (you've probably come across a Chilean Merlot) and widely blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Kékfrankos and Blaufränkisch are the same grape, and it's probably new territory. Well, it was for me, anyway!

Kékfrankos is a tannic, Central European grape: you'll find it (under a variety of names) in wines from Germany, Austria, Hungary ...

The wine itself really only falls into the OK category. There's not a lot of fruit on the nose, at all. It was much more earthy, but there is some black fruit on the palate. Not really a lot to say - as the website says, it's an "easy-drinking" wine. There's not a lot of complexity and there's no distinct flavours and aromas. Unsurprisingly, the length is pretty short, but, despite being just 12% abv, the wine does have a pretty good weight about it.

Andy was a lot less kind.

I'd have to say that for me, this would be, at best, a BBQ wine. It's not expensive and it's not offensive, but then I'm not sure it represents outstanding value for money, either. I'd be interested to try other wines produced by Hilltop - until then, my jury is out!

At the other end of the spectrum, a quick note about Pol Roger's Pure Brut which I mentioned about a month ago. Harvey Nicks is advertising it as, of all things, a Champagne for the diet-conscious. A "new low calorie, limited edition"? What I actually I think of this is not fit for print.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How close are you to the Wine Century? I got mine just a few months back and was pretty excited to do so. It took a trip to the Finger Lakes region in New York to do it - they still grow many of the North American varietals (Diamond, Isabella, Cayuga etc), so in 3 days i added 14 new varieties.

6:27 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Not entirely sure how many I've got to go as I've yet to go through all my WSET notes and tick off the varieties I've already tasted! I suspect there'll be quite a lot more drinking involved before I'm sending off for my certificate!

9:38 am  

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