Wines made from Zweigelt tend to be light-to-medium-bodied, often around 12.5-13% alcohol, with gentle tannins and sometimes a Barbera-like acidity. Cherry aromas are quite typical—sometimes red cherries, sometimes sour, occasionally black—as is the occasional spicy touch, but not the pepper of Blaufränkisch—more of a baking spice, nutmeg-like note, turning toward chocolate in richer examples. While Austrian producers have been fond of aging their reds in new oak (often too much new oak) of late, Zweigelt often avoids this fate as its acidity and freshness are rarely suited to it. Zweigelt also finds its way into many blends, often with so-called international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, where its bright character plays off the lusher, deeper notes of those other varieties.
Zweigelt makes an excellent food wine. Its acidity, moderate alcohol, and low tannins make it an excellent red for fish dishes, and the low tannins also make it a viable red choice alongside spicier cuisine, especially Mexican or even Chinese food (overly-oaky examples may have problems here, however). It’s at its best with white meats like veal, pork, or turkey. Like Barbera, Zweigelt is flexible, with enough presence to go with many meats or stews, but not overwhelming for fish and some starters. With a freshness that suits summer temperatures, lighter examples even drink well with a slight chill.
|Wine maker notes
|Delicate aroma of ripe sour cherries and blackberries
with tender roasted notes, bitter chocolate and a hint
of coffee. Juicy and full-bodied on the palate,
beautiful cherry aromas in a tight corset of tannin,
elegant playfulness and long finish.