Here’s a tasty introduction to Zweigelt (“Tsvy-gelt”), a modern Austrian grape developed in 1922 as a red grape that would produce well in Austria’s climate. It’s a clear cherry red color, not overly dark. Pleasant aromas of cherries and red berries lead into a mouth-watering flavor, fresh and tart, cranberries with hints of fresh cherry and raspberry. Mouth-filling and ripe, 12.5% alcohol, it has a distinct edge of tannic astringency that lingers with tart berry fruit in a very long finish. U.S. importer: Skurnik Wines, NYC., a Terry Theise Estate Selection. (Aug. 10, 2016)
FOOD MATCH: Fine with fennel-scented Italian-style sausages sauteed with green peppers and onions.
WHEN TO DRINK: With its simple style and beer-bottle cap, I wouldn’t cellar it long-term, but this 2013 is holding up well and should last another couple of years without losing its pleasant flavor.
My local price is well above the $12 U.S. average retail price reported by Wine-Searcher.com, but my $17 liter price translates to $12.75 for a standard bottle, and I have to admit I’d pay that price again.
Here’s an importer’s fact sheet on Weingut Erich & Maria Berger. This page offers links to all the Berger wines, including the 2013 and 2014 Zweigelt.
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