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Why is Lemberger not more widespread in Germany? The variety, which is called Blaufränkisch in Austria and also by more and more German producers, is so versatile and now succeeds so well at all levels of the hierarchy for many producers in Germany that one would wish to encounter it much more often outside Württemberg.
© Karl Haidle Winery

Moreover, it is an ideal complement to Pinot Noir: it is dark in colour, has more tannin and - even if we do not want to idealise it at all - is much better suited to a style of wine-making that likes to call itself "international": powerful and with a rather hearty use of wood. Pinot Noir rarely tolerates this, and even if the result is an objectively good wine, there is usually little left of the varietal character in this treatment. With Lemberger it is quite different, at least as long as one does not completely overdo it.

But at the other end of the scale, among the entry-level wines, Lemberger occupies a place where Pinot Noir is hardly ever convincing. For even well under 10 euros, amazing wines can sometimes be found that are not only carefully made and palatable, but also bring animated freshness, juiciness and even a certain character.

Our favourite wines among the Lembergers are then also those that retain this freshness, coolness and precision even in higher weight classes. Where concentration meets delicacy, juiciness meets elegance and real depth of fruit, we always feel most comfortable with the variety.

Good, but that's basically how we feel about all wines....

Over the past few weeks, we have tasted around 70 Lemberger or Blaufränkisch from Germany, of which we present the best here. Unfortunately, not all of the wineries we asked for accepted our invitation, including some of the younger ones that have caught our eye in the recent past. Should further samples arrive in the foreseeable future, we will submit their results immediately. Links to all the wines tasted can be found under the respective best lists.

In FocusLemberger/Blaufränkisch Vintage 2020

In FocusLemberger/Blaufränkisch Vintage 2019

In Focus: Lemberger/Blaufränkisch Vintage 2018

In Focus: Lemberger/Blaufränkisch Older vintages

In FocusLemberger/Blaufränkisch Rosé

In Focus: Lemberger/Blaufränkisch The best wines under 10 Euro