Wine of the Week: Kiona Estate Red Mountain Lemberger 2018

Welcome to the Wine-Flair Wine of the Week!  Yes, I know it sounds like a disgusting cheese. Or maybe a quiche from Germany. It’s actually a delicious red wine made from a grape that’s originally from upper Styria, now Slovenia, once part of Yugoslavia.

The grape itself is also called Lemberger, but it’s also known as Blaufränkisch, meaning blue Frankish. The wine’s mix is 85% Lemberger, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Carmenère, and 5% Mourvèdre.

It’s obviously an almost-unheard of grape and wine, with very little made and not easy to find unless you’re in Austria. But I wanted to mention it because it’s a great wine, and one to try if you can. The best producer I know of is Kiona Wines in Washington State. But it’s interestingly also made in New York’s Finger Lakes as both Red and Rosé wines.

Lemberger is marked by its fresh acidity and rich fruit, with tannins on the softer side and a touch of spice. It’s easier drinking than a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon-based or other bold red wines and because of that, it’s a great food wine. Might be worth a trip to Washington State or upstate New York when all this COVID craziness relents. Or your local (large) wine store!

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