Following Rabelais we move onto another European literary figure – Goethe. (This blog is Faust becoming very educational.) The words of Goethe’s poem “How marvellously does nature shine for me” appear, in German, on the side of the label.
The Zweigelt grape is a 1922 cross between the Blaufrankisch and St Laurent grapes. This was Schmelzer’s offering from Burgenland in east Austria which enjoys a Continental climate thereby assuring good ripening for red grapes whilst still maintaining grippy tannins. At 13% it is light enough to stand a bit of chilling. The colour is a bright, cherry red, purple rimmed with a fragrant nose of cherries and cranberries. There is herbaceous green notes to the aromas as well as an attractive smokiness.
The palate is certainly fresh with high acidity as well as pepper and tannins. Richard thought it a bit raw and it may benefit from a longer decant time but the flavours are certainly big.
I enjoyed this, it is the style I like being rather similar to northern Italian reds. This was from Vin Cognito (now out of stock) but Sainsbury’s now stock a Zweigelt in their ‘Taste the Difference’ range. Both are worth seeking out.
[Richard: this is the fifth Austrian wine blogged and only the second red – the first was a different grape. The customarily verbose and enthusiastic review by Vin Cognito persuaded me it was worth a punt, even thought I have no knowledge of the Zweigelt grape. Very drinkable in a Cabernet Franc sort of way. Quite sappy, peppery and easy to drink.]