Friday, March 12, 2010

Austria's 17 Best Zweigelt Wines – The 2010 wein.pur List

Picture: Wine.Pur Print Issue

Austria's 17 Best Zweigelt Wines – The 2010 wein.pur List

Wein.pur is an Austrian wine journal that is published 6 times a year. The 1/2010 wein.pur issue contains an interesting list with Austria’s top Zweigelts.


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.

Red Wine Boom in Austria

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.

Last year, for the first time, a red wine from Austria has earned 95 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. Moric, Blaufränkisch, Neckenmarkter Alte Reben, 2006 scooped the high ranking. This success of the Burgenland red echoed a bit the triumph of the Pinot Noir of Weingut Meyer-Näkel Dernauer Pfarrwingert Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs 2005, from the Ahr region in Germany that won the 2008 the International Pinot Noir Trophy (Over £10) of the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Four Key Austrian Red 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.

Wein.pur Classification

Wein.pur uses a scale of 1 to 5 Glasses to assess a wine. None of the Zweigelts were in the top 5 glasses category. Some, however, were in the 4 Glasses category, which you find below. Wein.pur grouped the wines according to regions and then distinguished, if the wine was traditionally aged in a large wood cask or stainless steel tank or if it was aged in a (small) barrique barrel.

Picture: Map of Austria with Wine Regions

The Websites of all winners can be found here.

Austria's 17 Best Zweigelt Wines

The prices are in Euro, ex winery. The current exchange rates are
0.88BP = 1Euro = 1.35US$ = 121JPY.

Neusiedlersee , 1788 hectares, 19% Zweigelt

Traditional Aging

2005 Reserve Privatkellerei Christian and Raimond Burda, Gols, Euro 6

2008 Edelgrund, Andreas und Christine Wendelin, Gols, Euro 9

Barrique Aging

2006 Bonum Alte Reben, Berntahler and Bernthaler, Gols, Euro 9,90

2008 Zweigelt Classic, Muenzenrieder, Apetlon, Euro 5.80

Neusiedlersee – Huegelland, 377 hectares, 9% Zweigelt

Traditional Aging

2007 Foelligberg, Wein und Schnaps Mariell, Grosshoeflein, Euro 7,90

Barrique Aging

2007 Zweigelt and More, Feiler-Artinger, Rust, Euro 19

Mittel- und Suedburgenland
Mittelburgenland, 430 hectares, 19% Zweigelt
Suedburgenland, 33 hectares, 6% Zweigelt

Traditional Aging

2008 Satz, J. und M. Reumann, Deutschkreutz, Euro 7

Barrique Aging

2006 Zweigelt Barrique, Familie Hundsdorfer, Neckenmarkt, Euro 12

Carnuntum and Thermenregion
Carnuntum, 218 hectares, 21% Zweigelt
Thermenregion, 258 hectares, 10% Zweigelt

Traditional Aging

2008 Zweigelt/Carbenet, Weingut Aumann, Trbuswinkel, Euro 7,40

2006 Zweigelt Grimling, Robert Grill, Gumpoldskirchen, Euro 19

Barrique Aging

2007 Best of Zweigelt, Landauer-Gisperg, Tattendorf, Euro 15

2008 Rubin Carnuntum Kraeften, Franz Taferner, Goettebrunn, Euro 10,50

Wachau, 102 hectares, 7% Zweigelt
Kremstal, 278 hectares, 12% Zweigelt
Kamptal, 514 hectares, 13% Zweigelt
Traisental, 59 hectares, 8% Zweigelt
Wagram, 319 hectares, 11% Zweigelt
Wien, 44 hectares, 6% Zweigelt

Traditonal Aging

Barrique Aging

2006 Zweigelt Privat, Thomas Leithner, Langenlois, Euro 12,90

Weinviertel, 1986 hectares, 10% Zweigelt

Traditional Aging

Barrique Aging

2007 Reserve, Christoph Bauer, Jetzelsdorf, Euro 9,50

2006 Reserve, Christoph Bauer, Jetzelsdorf, Euro 9,50

Suedsteiermark, 199 hectares, 11% Zweigelt
Suedoststeiermark, 210 hectares, 16 % Zeigelt
Weststeiermark, 18 hectares, 4% Zweigelt

Traditonal Aging

Barrique Aging

2006 Eruption Rot, Ploder–Rosenberg, St. Peter am Ottersbach, Euro 15

2007 Olivin, Winkler-Hermaden, Karpfenstein, Euro 15,60

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

German Wine makers in the World: A. Schlumberger, Austria

Wine ratings: Austria's best red wines - 2010

Wine ratings: Austria - Falstaff Top Red Wines 2009/2010


  1. Alexander LupersboeckMarch 15, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Dear Dr. Schiller,
    many thanks for mentioning our Zweigelt story on your blog! Being the author it makes me a little proud to learn that it is read in the States.
    I hope you get the chance to taste a lot of these wines and you follow up the next story about Chardonnay in Austria.

    So, if you can get to Europe the next time, maybe you can manage to join one of our tastings?

    Kind regards,

    Alexander Lupersböck

    PS: watch out the 2009 wines from Austria – probably one of the best vintages ever!

    Alexander Lupersböck
    Bahnstrasse 46A/2/5
    2345 Brunn am Gebirge
    T: ++43-0664-1366252
    UID: ATU 57958801

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