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Franz Weninger, Kekfrankos 2018
A wine that contains smooth tannins and spicy notes with a deep and rich origin. Weninger produces Kekfrankos, Hungarian for Blaufrankisch, with balanced acidity, sweet dried plums on the nose, and hints of spice and herbs on the palate.
The Kekfrankos (aka Blaufrankisch in German) grapes come from 17-45 year old vines. The fruit is hand harvested, spontaneously fermented in steel tanks and pressed after 3 weeks. The wine is then moved to large barrels for ageing. Only minimal amounts of sulphur are added before bottling. The wine is both unfined and unfiltered.
The Weninger family's winemaking roots can be traced back to 1828, when the name first appeared in the records of Horitschon, a small town in Burgenland. In 1997, not long after Hungary started opening up after the Communist era, Franz Weninger's father acquired some parcels close to the town of Balf in Sopron - a historic winemaking region that lies a few kilometres east of the family's Austrian parcels. Before the existence of a border between Austria and Hungary, Sopron was considered to be the heart of the region, and is thought to be the likely birthplace of the Blaufrankisch or Kekfrankos variety. Here, the cool winds descending from the Sopron mountains are tempered by the warming influence of Lake Neusiedl, forming ideal conditions for the steady ripening of Kekfrankos. In 2006 Franz and his father started converting to biodynamic farming in order to unlock the full potential of each site and show how sensitive to terroir Kekfrankos is. In Sopron, the Gneiss and Mica-Schist soils yield markedly different wines to those coming from the limestone, chalk and slate soils found in Franz's vineyards across the border. Franz vinifies a number of different grape varieties with passion and precision, but Kekfrankos remains the focal point of both his Austrian and Hungarian portfolio.