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Weninger, Mittelburgenland Blaufrankisch Durrau, 2016

Red Wine from Burgenland, Austria

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This vineyard is a crown jewel of the Burgenland with deep, water retaining clay over limestone and iron. 2016 was a cool vintage and 57 year old vines produced an incredibly elegant, suave wine with super fine tight tannins, expertly knitted into an extravagant tapestry with piercing acidity. The pure red and blueberry tinged fruit is countered bloody, umami note, ferrous and back, like something grilled without smoke. Every vintage I ad another "wow" to my tasting notes and this year we are up to 3. The clay limestone combo recalls Pomerol but the ferrous iron adds another layer of depth.


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We are a little infatuated with the wines of Weninger around here. Every single wine from Franz is a little dollop of terroir in a bottle. Most people assume all Blaüfrankisch just tastes like, well, Blaüfrankisch. And for the majority of mass-produced wines imported to the US, that's true. But the real truth is, in the hands of a master, there are few grapes as capable of transmitting terroir in such a focused manner.

When Franz took over the family estate a decade ago, he quickly made a series of changes: He stopped using purchased fruit, converted their vineyards to biodynamics, stripped away excessive winemaking techniques and new oak, and (most importantly) bottled each of the best sites individually.

All of this is a reflection of Franz Weninger's own obsession with showcasing the distinctive value in each of his beloved vineyards. With a 50-hectare checkerboard of limestone, clay, gravel, mica-schist, gneiss, iron and volcanic basalt, he doesn't lack for choice. And while he's not the first of his compatriots to explore his wealth of indigenous grapes and soil types in this fashion, he is making the most compelling case for their place on the world stage—and in your cellar.


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


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  • Body

    Light Bodied

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