Picture: The Wine Regions of Austria
Austria’s 13 Top Zweigelt Wines – the 2009/2010 Falstaff List
Falstaff Wine Guide
The Falstaff is Austria’s most prestigious wine guide. The Falstaff Rotweinguide 2009/2010, the wine guide for red wine only, was released on December 9, 2009, in Vienna, Austria. Now, the Falstaff monthly journal has published a list of the Top Zweigelt wines in its Falstaff monthly journal.
Austria and Red Wines
At first thought one might think of Austria’s climate as being quite cool for red wine. In the Alps and the western and northern reaches of the country this tends to be true. The eastern plains that border Hungary and Slovenia, however, are a different story. Right in the heart of this region is Mittelburgenland, and this is Austria’s red wine country, with 95-percent of the vineyards planted to red wine varietals. And there is global warming changing the wine map. Yes, Austria has an international reputation for its white wines, but there has been a revolution going on in terms of red wines in recent years. In Austria, red wine now accounts for about 1/3 of the wine production.
Zweigelt was developed in 1922, in Austria, by Fritz Zweigelt. It is a crossing of Blaufraenkisch and St. Laurent. It is now the most widely-grown red grape variety in Austria, accounting for about 6500 hectares of land. Zweigelt is said to combine some of the best qualities of its parents: winter hardiness (resistance to frost), late bud-break, and early ripening. It combines the bite and fruity character of the Blaufränkisch grape and the body of the St. Laurent. It does have a tendency to over-crop, leading to low quality if not corrected. When the crop load is high, however, the wine can be too dilute. Zweigelt is also planted in Canada and Hungary.
Austria's Red Grape Varieties
There are four key Austrian red varieties, although others are grown, including some ‘international’ grapes.
Zwiegelt: The most abundant red grape; makes good wines ranging from simple cherry fruit gluggers to more substantial reds destined for ageing.
Blaufränkisch: Common in Burgenland this makes spicy, sturdy, berry fruited reds which can have some tannic structure. Probably Austria’s best red grape.
Blauer Portugieser: This red grape makes soft, approachable, juicy wines mainly for early consumption. The most widely planted red grape but not for top quality wines.
St Laurent: Makes soft, slight herby, expressive reds; it’s a bit like Pinot Noir.
Falstaff uses the 100 points scale. Prices are ex-winery in Euros. The current exchange rates are 0.90BP = 1Euro = 1.35US$ = 125JPY. Prices range from Euro 4.50 to 11.50. All are 2008 wines.
The top wines got 91 and 90 points.
Zweigelt Rubin Carnuntum, Weingut Trapl, Stixneusiedl, Euro 10
Blauer Zweigelt Heideboden, Weingut Wurzinger, Tadten, Euro 6.50
Zweigelt Dornenvogel, Weingut Glatzer, Goettlesbrunn, Euro 11.50
Blauer Zweigelt, Winzerhof Julius Steiner, Podersdorf/See, Euro 5.90
Zweigelt “Cabernet”, Weingut Aumann, Tribuswinkel, Euro 7.40
Blauer Zweigelt Klassik, Weingut Leth, Fels/Wagram, Euro 7.90
Zweigelt, Weingut Claus Preisinger, Gols, Euro 7.90
Zweigelt Rubin Carnuntum, Weingut Gottschuly-Grassl, Euro 9
Zweigelt Classique, Weingut Poeckl, Moenchhof, Euro 9.25
Zweigelt Rubin Carnuntum, Weingut Artner, Hoeflein, Euro 9.50
Zweigelt Rubin Carnuntum, Weingut Jahner, Wildungsmauer, Euro 9.50
Zweigelt Rubin Carnuntum, Weingut Hans und Philipp Grassl, Goettlesbrunn, Euro 10
Zweigelt Selektion, Winzerhof Landauer-Gisperg, Tattendorf, Euro 10
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