Showing posts with label Zweigelt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zweigelt. Show all posts

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Couple Of Superb Reds from Argentina and Austria

A Couple Of Superb Reds from Argentina and Austria

Susana Balbo Crios Malbec Mendoza 2018, 14%, €16.75 Wines Direct

The aromas, warm, moderately spicy and massively welcoming, are the stand-out feature of this dark-red/purple Malbec from Mendoza, crafted by Susana Balbo, one of the best known wine people in Argentina. It is warm too on the palate, full of sweet red fruit flavours (plum and blackcurrant), again that spice, dark and delicious, and a terrific harmonious finish as well. Very Highly Recommended. 

Importers Wines Direct recommend pairing it with Pasta and Pizza, Game, Beef and Lamb. The vineyard tell us that it has spent 9 months in 100 % French oak, and they put Tuna steak, lamb, hamburgers on their matching shortlist. 

The Crios series of wines is aimed at connecting with “young, adventurous wine drinkers looking for unique varietals and regions, as well as with those seeking reliable, quality wines that fit their budget”. Reckon a lot of the recent “cocooners” would have a keen interest here as well.

Susana Balbo, the first female enologist in Argentina after graduating with honours from Don Bosco University in Mendoza in 1981, is an Argentinean game changer “of incredible skill and experience” according to Wines of South America. She is regularly hired as a consultant abroad and has made wine in Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa and Spain. Dominio del Plata, her own label, is among the country’s most successful, with her Malbec and Crios Torrontes its signature wines.

Wellanschitz Neckenmarkt Zweigelt Klassik (Burgenland, Austria) 2016, 13%, €17.75 Wines Direct

The Zweigelt grape is a brilliantly hardy grape that is well suited to the Austrian climate and it is the most widely planted red grape there. It was created in 1922 from a crossing between Saint-Laurent and Blaufrankisch. According to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, the terroir here is ideal for the red grape: In this landscape, which is not unlike the Médoc, red grapes ripen reliably every year.

Colour is a dark ruby. Attractive bouquet of ripe dark berries. Medium bodied, it is juicy, fruity (blackberries, cherries, raspberries) and nicely spicy on the palate, very fresh too with engaging medium acidity and a long dry finish, tannins integrated. Highly Recommended.

Should be perfect with the foods suggested by importers Wines Direct: spicy food, soft cheese, pork and poultry, beef and lamb. Serve at 14-16 degrees. Note also that it is vegan friendly.

This classic Zweigelt was fermented spontaneously in stainless steel and then traditionally matured in large wooden barrels. “The work of the winemaker is full of humility and awe. Any manipulation, falsification or acquisition, which would alter the cultural asset of the wine are prohibited at Wellanschitz vineyards.” This is the real thing from the Austrian wine-maker.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Diwald. Where Quality Comes From The Vineyard.

Diwald. Where Quality Comes From The Vineyard.
Continental climate but sometimes it rains, just to make the Irish visitor feel at home on the Danube!

“Quality comes from the vineyard, there is no doubt about it.” So say the younger generation of the Diwald family winery in Austria, organic since 1980.

“There is nothing that can be improved in the cellar, quality can only be retained. Wine must be fun, it must always offer something new and it must tempt you to have another sip. And when the bottle is suddenly empty, then you know it’s perfect!” 

“Today, the Diwald wine style follows a simple credo: the wines – whether white, red, rosé, orange or cloudy – should be lean, elegant and cheeky, but still offer depth and body. They are individual wines which speak to our – and your – taste buds….”

Most of Austria’s vineyards are in the east of the country and Wagram, just to the northwest of Vienna, is one of the best areas for white whites and especially so for the Grüner Veltliner (thanks to the soil being particularly rich in loess), the most widely planted white grape in the country. The district, close to 3,000 hectare, stretches along the Danube from Klosteneuburg (itself a historical viticulture centre) to Krems.

Wagram, neighboured to the west by Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal, is one of Austria's 16 official wine regions, and its loess soil is noted for its water retaining properties. Warm days and cool nights also help the wine-growers and the climate is generally continental.

Diwald Zweigelt (vom Löss), Wagram Austria, 2017, 12.5%, €16.60 Mary Pawle

Zweigelt - a crossing of Saint-Laurent with Blaufrankisch, created in 1922 - is the most widely planted red-wine grape in Austria. According to Wine Searcher, well made examples have the potential to cellar for a decade. The “vom Löss” on the label indicates the grapes were grown on loess sites. Diwald practise cluster thinning in the loess-soil Zweigelt vineyards in order to reduce the yield dramatically and so considerably improve the grapes’ ripeness. “The wine becomes more concentrated, but never too heavy” and that is certainly the case here.
Colour is a rich ruby, bright. Rich fruits feature in the aromas. At its juicy heart, you’ll find flavours of cherry, plum and raspberry. A light dry wine with excellent acidity but one with a concentrated backbone and no shortage of tannin. Highly Recommended.

It’s a wine that needs food and expect it to be a good match for beef stews, goulash, mushrooms. Try also with Roasted ham hock, Grilled sausages with mustard, Duck Confit (try the excellent Skeaghanore version). Here’s an insider’s tip. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on venison, then use some Zweigelt in the cooking and the remainder (maybe a second bottle) to drink with it!
Diwald “Goldberg” Riesling (Wagram, Austria) 2016, 12%, €21.55 Mary Pawle
Riesling is the King of Wines, according to Diwald. “ is our secret love.” A love they share with us via this Goldberg. A light straw colour with green tints. Aromatic as ever, citrus prominent. And a citrus-y tingle intro to the palate soon followed by richer more exotic flavours. A crisp acidity ensures harmony from first sip to very satisfying finalé. This supple wine has no shortage of minerality and is Very Highly Recommended.

By the way, did you know that “deacidification” is a thing in Riesling and indeed in other wines? It is. But not here in Diwald. Here’s what they have to say on the subject: “Riesling originates from the Upper Rhine .… This grape variety demands a lot of its vineyard site and wine grower, but offers long-lived and expressive wines in return. We think it’s also important to mention that we do not de-acidify any of our Rieslings – they should be allowed to show their true, unaltered personality!”

Importer Mary Pawle has a couple of tips for you: “Allow this wine a bit of time before pouring. Try it with smoked duck breast.”

Diwald Grüner Veltliner (Wagram, Austria) 2018, 12%, €20.75 Mary Pawle

Light straw colour, bright, and micro bubbles cling briefly to bowl of the glass. Clean white fruit (apple, pear) aromas, a hint of pepper, even ginger. Quite an initial tingle on the palate and then the clean fresh fruit flavours flow in, acidity there also, minerality too and a lingering finish. The “vom Löss” on the label indicates that the grapes were grown on loess sites. 

Grüner wines are quite wide ranging, from light quaffers to serious sippers. The Diwald aim is to make wines that are “lean, elegant and cheeky, but still offer depth and body.” Serious winemakers but fun people and this is a cheeky wine that is elegant yet approachable and so so easy to enjoy!
The selected vineyards with their loess soils make it possible to create a spicy, lively and thoroughly full-bodied wine which reflects its origins. Light, dry and flavour-packed and Very Highly Recommended.

"We are still trading," that's the message from Mary and Ivan at the hillside HQ of Mary Pawle Wines in Kenmare. Both are cocooning so neither can deliver but their courier company Landbridge is taking up the slack. While demand from restaurants is knocked out, other regular customers are still ordering and there's even an increase in orders from smaller shops. So be sure and contact Mary if you need wine!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wagner and Strauss. An impressive duet in red and white.

Wagner and Strauss. 
An impressive duet in red and white.
Wagner Stempel Riesling Rheinhessen (DQ) 2015, 12%, €19.95 Bradley’s Cork.
Nine generations of the Wagner family have been involved in wine-making here since 1845. Daniel Wagner has been the wine-maker since the early 90s and under him they have converted to organic production methods. 

According to the Finest Wines of Germany, he has proved that “forgotten or previously unconsidered terroirs can be of exceptional quality when they are interpreted properly”.  

Harvest is late (October/November) and the wines are kept on their lees until the end of May.This one, labelled trocken, is imported by the Wine Mason.

Colour is light straw, tints of green, micro-bubbles cling to the glass. Quite a bunch of aromas, fruit, herbs, even a hint of smoke. A fresh and fruity vibrancy emerges as soon as it meets the palate - notes of melon, spice and yellow apple - all balanced by a keen acidity; the long flavourful finish is lip smackingly dry. Very Highly Recommended.

A superb uncomplicated wine to be enjoyed with or without food. I enjoyed it with Hederman’s smoked mackerel, freshly boiled beetroot from the garden, and salad leaves with some roasted pepper.

Johann Strauss Zweigelt Reserve Austria (QaO) 2011, 13.5%, €20.50 Karwig Wines

Zweigelt is the grape and Kremstal is the area in Austria where this fragrant and elegant wine comes from. The blue/black Zweigelt is the most widespread red wine grape in Austria. A cross between St Laurent and Blaufränkisch, it was developed in 1922 and is said to deliver full bodied wines with tones of morello cherries. The morello is black and a sour kind of cherry.

Our Zweigelt has a mid-ruby robe and a fragrant nose of dark red fruits, hints too of pepper. Rather elegant introduction with soft tannins. Restrained waves of those cherry flavours follow, a touch of spice too and then a lingering finish. A pleasure to drink this one and Highly Recommended.