Stroll into the BC section of your local wine store, and you’d be forgiven if you thought that Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Gris were the founding grapes of our wine region. The truth is that we started out with a lot of odd hybrid and oddball grapes—Marechal Foch stills pops up now and then, as does Ehrenfelser on the white sid but you also had Dunkelfelder and Rotberger. Which brings us to Blaufrankisch: If I’ve had one Blaufrankisch, I’ve had…one Bluafrankisch. Well, more if you include all the Washington State Lemberger (which is the same grape, but not exactly a best-seller either) but the truth is, we’re entering into serious niche territory here and that’s awesome.
It’s a deep dark colour (the grape is used in a quasi-legendary Hungarian wine called Bull’s Blood) and has some spice on the nose, but it’s on the palate—more loaded with blueberry than any wine in recent memory—that you see how it got its name (the “blau” being “blue” for our German pals). It has a light feel in the mouth (its thinness offset by what I assume is some pretty solid oak aging) and some serious tannin. Above all, though, it’s unique, unlike the oceans of bland Cab or Merlot, which means you’ll have a definite opinion on this wine. I really liked it, tickled by its history and bold taste, but my wife remained solidly on the fence. I can assure you you’ll remember it long after other wines have come and gone—and if that’s not worth $25, I don’t know what is.