Kobal ‘Roots' Blaufränkisch 2022

Kobal ‘Roots' Blaufränkisch 2022

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The vibe: This is a Blaufränkisch, a varietal mostly grown in Austria, though thought to possibly be from Slovenia, where this winery is based. Slovenians actually have their own word for the grape: Frankovna Crna. It presents as a purply, blackberry-cherry-chocolate trio with woodsy undertones. It’s definitely a year-round drinker as you can pair it with both casual pizzas, roasted chicken or heartier gamey meals. It is best decanted for 45 minutes. And in case you want to grow your cellar, this should age beautifully over the next 5 years. Best enjoyed with company and a cozy meal, or as I first enjoyed it, at a cabin in the San Juans after a summer sunset.

The winemaker: Bojan Kobal produces wine in the Haloze appellation in Štajerska Slovenia, considered one of the top wine-growing sites in Europe since Roman times. Here, old vines root deep into marl slopes and absorb minerality, a signature profile of these wines. Kobal itself is a tiny garage winery, a project of Bojan’s outside of his day job as winemaker at Pullus (another fantastic Slovenian winery). He has a passion for indigenous varietals that rarely make their way out of the country, much less to our shores. Lucky us that his wines made it here!

The geeky details: 100% Blaufränkisch, hand-picked and de-stemmed, then skin macerated for 3 weeks. Spontaneous fermentation. Matured in used barrique barrels for 6 months where it finished malolactic fermentation. Bottled un-fined and unfiltered.

Serve: Cellar temp (60F)

Food pairing: Casual or classy, you decide! Backyard wood-fired pizza, roasted chicken or turkey, grilled chicken salad, burgers and French fries, or gamey stews and bratwurst, potatoes and braised greens.

Album pairing: Don Glori – Don’t Forget to Have Fun