Officially classified under the name “Blauer Limberger,” this red grape variety also goes by the synonyms “Lemberger” and “Blaufränkisch.” The late-ripening Lemberger probably originated in vineyards on the lower stretches of the Danube River. In Austria, it is known as Blaufränkisch and in Hungary it is known as Kékfrankos.
Usually, the wines are extremely dark in color. The bouquet can range from rather quiet to powerful, reminiscent of blackberries, sweet or sour cherries, plums, currants, gooseberries, elderberries, bananas and chocolate, as well as vegetal aromas, such as green beans or green bell peppers. Depending on vinification techniques, the wines have a fruity or a tannic accent and a long finish. Thanks to their acid, extract and tannin profile, even drier versions of Lemberger have good aging potential. Barrique-aging adds another dimension...reminiscent of Mediterranean warmth and charm.
Light, fruity Lemberger wines are ideal with platters of cheese and/or cold cuts as well as summer BBQ foods. More tannic Lemberger wines are great with pâtés, grilled steak and the whole range of roasted game (feathered or furry); also: pot roast, lamb, roast beef, and cheese, such as low-fat blue, brined (e.g. feta), or ripe Alpine (fairly pungent in aroma and/or flavor) types.