Review: 2019 Old Westminster Blaufränkisch
The 2019 Blaufränkisch from Maryland’s Old Westminster Vineyard states the following on the back label: carbonic fermentation, aged for twelve months in neutral oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered, and no sulfites added. That’s a lot going on from this low-intervention winery, and a sort of semi-natural wine. Couple that with our mission of discussing unheralded varieties in an unheralded region, we were curious to dive right in and see what was inside the bottle.
Deep purple in the glass, slight dust on the nose backed by bramble fruit and pepper. The carbonic fermentation is evident, as there is almost a touch of sweetness in the front, quickly giving way to tart blueberry jam. Mid-palate is citrus and pepper, then cocoa, mushrooms, earth, and forest floor on a short finish. Medium body, medium-high acidity, medium-low tannins.
We would be very interested to try this same wine without the carbonic fermentation. That is the only way to tell if this example best showcased the grapes, or whether this wine is too clever by half. Regardless, worth trying, because you will certainly see many more bottles like this in the near future.
Wine: 2019 Blaufränkisch
Winemaker: Old Westminster Winery and Vineyard
Varietals: 100% Blaufränkisch
Rating: 88 pts