IBY Blaufränkisch Chevalier 2016
In October I visited IBY Rotweingut in Horitschon, located in the centre of the Austrian wine region Mittelburgenland renowned for its Blaufränkisch. Indeed Iby played a vital role in the resurgence of Blaufränkisch wine. As the company name indicates, Iby only makes red wine. The family grows Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and Merlot grape varieties on 40 hectares of Hochhäcker, Gfanger and Dürrau vineyards.
We were treated to a tour by Anton Iby. The small, modern, clinically clean and marvellously efficient facilities signalled a quality and attention to detail in winemaking operations, characteristics that transfer to his wines. Anton spoke passionately about using organic viniculture, modern techniques and apparatus, with careful processing and vinification to capture and preserve the natural characteristics of the local terroir and the grapes. His approach is precision in the vineyard and meticulous in the cellar. He’s a man who knows his soil, knows his grapes, and knows how to produce the unadulterated red wine he feels so strongly about.
Inevitably I came away with some bottles. I went for the Blaufränkisch Classic 2017 vintage, the Blaufränkisch Quintus 2015, and the Zweigelt Classic 2016. And of course the Blaufränkisch Chevalier 2016.
The Blaufränkisch Chevalier 2016 is a deep and elegant purple. The nose presents blackberry and bramble aromas with tobacco leaf and an inviting whiff of bbq smoke. There’s a dark fruit explosion on the palate. Ripe blackberries hold centre stage with black cherries in support, accompanied by a peppery spice, delicate forest earthiness and a hint of wood. This wine is full bodied with soft tannins, balanced acidity and a lovely long coffee finish that just keeps on giving. I decanted a couple of hours before drinking. It paired beautifully with my braised short rib of beef.
I scored the Chevalier 4 stars on Vivino.