One of the wines that really stood out to me last year was Hahndorf Hill's 2008 Blaufränkisch (91pts), especially when it was served with a quartet of German sausages, sauerkraut and mash. Some have likened blaufränkisch to an Austrian pinot noir, but I thought Hahndorf Hill's first release (made from vines around 20 years old) was more like an Adelaide Hills version of Barossa grenache.
HHW's second blaufränkisch, now aptly named Blueblood, seems a touch riper and darker fruited than its predecessor, but it handles it well. A floral whiff of crushed herbs, menthol and white pepper carries its ripe dark cherry and plump blueberry fruits with lifted appeal, while a smooth scent of chocolate oak resides patiently below. The chocolatey tones impart a more melting chocolate-like feel and character to the palate, which is particularly smooth, richly flavoured in a medium-full bodied sense and subsequently easy to consume in its youth. Expect vibrant liqueur cherry and dark plum fruits at its core, drawn sumptuously down the palate by an approachable, soft-edged structure beset with lithe, refreshing acids and ultra-fine tannins that curl up a fraction at the final stanza, leaving a touch of gentle spice to linger gently in the mouth. The balance works.
ü The two 'blaus' I've had from Hahndorf Hill have both been from challenging seasons but happily, they've both been delicious drinks. Just imagine what these guys might be able to achieve with this special variety from a kinder vintage. Eyes to the skies people, eyes to the skies. Drink to 2014.