The 2008 Zantho Zweigelt is a worthy successor to the winery’s much heralded 2006 Zweigelt. It, also, pays tribute to the enological acumen of Umathum and Peck. In short, Zantho’s 2008 Zweigelt captures all the juicy red fruit, subtle spice, and vivacity that well-bred Zweigelt has to offer. Although somewhat reminiscent of Grand Cru Morgon or a well made village Burgundy, the 2008 Zantho Zweigelt offers a great deal more flavor, generosity, and individual character than its aforementioned French counterparts. The 2008 Zantho Zweigelt stands and delivers in both aroma and flavor. Up front, it is loaded with ripe cherry fruit, which nearly bursts from the glass within minutes of being poured. If hedonistic pleasure is what you are after in wine, Zantho’s Zweigelt is up to the task and ready to go. Mouth filling flavors caress the mouth; cinnamon, sassafras, vanilla, and of course layer upon layer of juicy red fruit come to fore. Dressed in a ruby robe with purple highlights this Zweigelt brings all the sunshine and good cheer one could ask. From the first sniff through to this wine’s balanced refreshing finish, the 2008 Zantho will put a smile on your face. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest serving this delightful medium-bodied wine between cool room temperature and cellar temperature (56º - 66º F). Prost!
The 2008 Zantho Zweigelt is a wonderful tableside companion. It is equally at home with bistro food as it is with an eclectic assortment of Mediterranean fare. Austria’s Burgenland is surprisingly warm, so its climate bears more resemblance to that of Italy than it does the rest of Austria. Correspondingly, pizza, pasta, and many authentic regional Italian specialties provide Zantho with ideal accompaniments. Pork Bracciole from the Marches or even Bracciole Florentine, made with beef and mushrooms, provides a hedonistic feast to match the flamboyancy of Zantho’s extraverted Zweigelt. Pasta with Alfredo sauce is a good bet, too. We can also recommend it in the company of white fish, especially when prepared in the Livornese style with black olives, capers, herbs, and fresh tomato sauce. Lightly spiced Middle Eastern favorites pair well with Zweigelt, too. So, for a spicy opening act, why not pair this wine with Hummus or Baba Ghanoush (Eggplant Tahini Spread) that is served with multi-grain chips? And certainly, dumplings, schnitzels, and other dishes that are commonly thought of as typically Austrian offer superb companionship to Zantho’s flagship wine, too. And if it’s simply a burger or barbecue night, Zantho’s Zweigelt will surely add panache to an otherwise ordinary mid week meal.
Deep within the Austrian province of Burgenland lies the tiny village of Andau, which was first known as Zantho as far back as 1488. The region’s gravelly soil, rich in iron and minerals, is ideal for producing premium red wine, especially the area’s two most important red varieties: St. Laurent and Zweigelt. Zantho is home to a rare genus of woodland lizard, too, and now the name of one of Austria’s hottest new wineries. Zantho is a fledgling venture, starring Josef Umathum, Austria’s undisputed master of the rare but difficult to cultivate St. Laurent varietal and his equally astute partner Wolfang Peck, a specialist with Zweigelt. Both men are regarded as two of Burgenland’s finest winemakers and they started Zantho in conjunction with the Andau winegrower’s cooperative. They founded Zantho in 2001, christening their enterprise with Andau’s original name. They placed an image of the village’s other main attraction, a rare woodland lizard that has become synonymous with the village as well as the winery, solidly on the label. Yet, today what may be even rarer than the Zantho lizard is a bottle of this winery’s Zweigelt. Recently, several highly favorable reviews have caused a groundswell of interest in Zantho’s wines and strained allocation for this budding winery. However, we were fortunate to procure enough of Zantho’s delicious 2008 Zweigelt to slake the thirst of our membership. We trust you will enjoy this gregarious Zweigelt as much as we do.
Zweigelt (pronounced TSVYE-gelt) is an indigenous Austrian varietal. However, its appearance in the world of wine is relatively recent. Zweigelt was created only in 1922 by an Austrian scientist named Fritz Zweigelt. The grape is a cross between two indigenous Austrian varietals, Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent. Zweigelt was originally referred to as rotburger, but its name was changed to honor its creator – and for that we are all thankful. Today, Zweigelt is the most highly cultivated and sought-after red grape variety in Austria, and by nearly all accounts, Zweigelt produces the finest red wine in the country as well. In excellent vintages, Zweigelt shines with juicy ripe fruit and a warm, huggable structure that other indigenous varietals struggle to match.
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