It wasn't that long ago I made mention of my desire to see Hahndorf Hill take either component of their blaufränkisch/trollinger rose and turn it into a single varietal red; so now, I'm quite literally drinking my own words! Hahndorf Hill's 2008, Australia's only blaufränkisch, was made from vines approaching 20 years of age, with the wine having spent 11 months in French oak.
In its native Austria blaufränkisch is said to produce a lively, cherryish wine and this descriptor holds true for the Hahndorf Hill. There's a certain sweetness and warmth to its lifted cherry fragrance, almost reminiscent of Kirsch, but that fruit sweetness is wisely underpinned by suggestions of damp, earthy soils and a well defined spice/herbal/floral edge. Its vibrant palate sits happily in the medium weight range yet is a touch lean on opening, however, it develops beautifully with air, revealing a truly expressive length of fruit (considerate oak handling and appropriate vine age?) that takes on a variety of guises. Initially its flavour is all bright cherries, raspberries and blueberries in an almost fruit bomb-like fashion, but that gives way to prouder nuances of licorice, which morphs into enduring notes of menthol and herb held together by a fine tapestry of sour acids and light tannin.
ü+ All up this is a very convincing first effort from a difficult season. Kudos must go to its vibrancy, length, drinkability and unique nature. I'm already loving Hahndorf Hill's new direction with the variety. Drink to 2013.