‘Why haven’t you recommended any Zweigelt?’, a friend asks me after his recent discoveries in Austria.
‘Basically they’re like good Valpolicella, my friend continued, ‘but without the unnecessary oak if you find the right producers’.
What better way then to discover Zweigelt than comparing a Demeter certified one to an organic Zweigelt? Christoph Röper in Germany runs Biovinum, a web based wine shop only offering organic and biodynamic wines; my choice of supplier. I love to support and encourage people with a passion and deepened knowledge within a specific field, as in the case of Christoph Röper.His range of offerings are impressive and at prices making me wonder how it’s possible. Obviously,organic and biodynamic practices aren’t necessary correlating with a higher price tag; a fact worth keeping in mind for your everyday choice.
But before tasting, what is Zweigelt?
Created in 1922 by Dr. Fritz Zweigelt by crossing two grapes,Sankt Laurent and Blaufränkisch. From the beginning the grape was intended to be called Rotburger – after where it was born; Klosterneuburg. Being the most widely planted grape that seldomly means being the best. Zweigelt stands for
9% of Austria’s red grapes. Weinviertel is the dominating region for the grape. Abroad it has shown few promising results.It is a robust grape, highly resistant to dryness, frost and other diseases but the main thing is it’s high yields.
As its combatant I call in the Demeter certified Weingut Wimmer-Czerny from Wagram. The 2008 Zweigelt Hammer has the same yield as the Pratsch but boasts with 35 years old vines, amongst the eldest Zweigelt plantations in Austria. Price: EUR 8,95.
While one is settling with organic practices the other goes for the full monty and the Rudolf Steiner way. Personally I don’t care at all whether it’s biodynamical, organic or jam-packed with fertilizers and crop-spraying; in the end it’s all about the wine’s quality. Still, although Einstein is not my middle name, it doesn’t take a brain to figure out that minimal involvment of chemicals is the way towards great and personal wines.
Cherries, wild raspberries, licorice, white pepper and a herbal note. Mouth watering fruitiness and a fine although not long finish. (88 points)
At the price both are extra ordinary buys but I confess I prefer the Pratsch style. Maybe that’s my preferences speaking, preferring a Cotes-du-Rhone wine before a Valpolicella, but the impression were two food friendly wines.
If you wish to try them I doubt you will find the Pratsch or the Wimmer-Czerny outside of Europe but hope to be surprised. Order through Christoph Röper and his Biovinum. He’s shipping in the EU. For example he charges EUR 23 for a case to Sweden.
(2008 Zweigelt Windradlweingarten, Biohof Pratsch, 88 points)
(2008 Zweigelt Hammer, Weingut Wimmer-Czerny, 87 points)