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Franchere – Failed Empires


From the Winemaker: For years I’ve been asking my friends at Satori Springs vineyard…

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From the Winemaker:

For years I’ve been asking my friends at Satori Springs vineyard near Oregon City if they would consider selling me some of their Blaufränkisch and Rotburger (aka Zweigelt) grapes, and in 2020 they generously allowed me to do just that. And thank goodness, as I’m thrilled with the inaugural vintage of “Failed Empires,” which is 48% Blaufränkisch, 48% Rotburger, and 4% Syrah.

This light, ultra-fresh red (see photo above) shows flamboyant fresh raspberry, fresh-cut chives, and a hint of dried tarragon. It’s bright and fresh on the palate, with a touch of creaminess (malolactic conversion was completed), and then the finish is medium long and tangy. The Austrian varieties saw just a few hours of maceration, and fermentation was in stainless steel tank. A small proportion of 2020 Syrah from the Havlin Vineyard was blended in when the wine was racked to neutral barrels, and the wine rested on fine lees for 4 months before bottling unfined and unfiltered.

You may be wondering why I named this “Failed Empires,” of all things. Well, Voltaire’s quip that the Holy Roman Empire was “in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire” makes me wonder: had the House of Habsburg been more “successful,” would the great Austrian grape varieties be as famous as the so-called “noble” French varieties, whose wide esteem was abetted by the now-defunct British Empire? While we’ll never know, I’m grateful that a tiny few acres of Blaufränkisch and Rotburger are planted in the Willamette Valley.

12.7% ABV

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