Austria makes great red wines. While the success story for Austrian exports may be Gruner Veltliner, following on its heels are distinctive and compelling red wines. The main red grape varieties are Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, St Laurent and Pinot Noir. Merlot and Syrah are also found alone or more typically in blends. The two regions of importance for red wines are Burgenland and Carnuntum. Both are on the eastern border of Austria with sunny continental climates and long growing seasons.
A short guide to the varieties
A cross between Blaufrankisch and St Laurent, Zweigelt is Austria’s dominant red variety. It is found in a number of different styles from unoaked to aged in barriques, as a single variety or in blends. Typically it is rich in colour and has cherry and raspberry flavours.
Tends to produce more structured wines than Zweigelt with very bright acidity and velvety tannins, in flavour it tends to deep wood berry and cherry notes. In top sites such as the Spitzerberg it has long aging potential.
Plantings are not extensive as this is a very difficult variety to grow, but it does produce very attractive and supple wines of very good quality and ageability.
Gaining in importance and producing some excellent results with a keen price to quality ratio when compared to other parts of the world.
Order Code: PITTI
Ripe blackcurrant and floral notes and a touch of spiciness, moderate acidity and a touch of tannic grip this wine could be described as both playful and serious.
Cuvee Vom Berg
Order Code: MNVOMB
A blend of Syrah and Blaufrankish with other varieties, this is a knockout wine. Fruit-focused, with supple tannins and pure acidity, it has great finesse, and is quite pinot-like in style.
Order Code: PITZWE
Low intervention winemaking giving a very vibrant and lively wine which benefits from decanting.
St Laurent Dorflagen
Order Code: PITSTL
From several sites with gravel soils containing iron. Very fine tannins, bitter notes, wild red berries.
Order Code: MNCARN
To experience how well Blaufrankisch ages, this is an older vintage of Samt & Seide, then labelled Carnuntum.
Order Code: MNSPIT
Selected from the estates 9 ha of Blaufrankisch on the Spitzerberg, broken into 20 parcels the best are vinified and matured separately. The result is Spitzerberg. In 2010 a reduced crop yielded a delicate, elegant, refreshing Spitzerberg of red berries, violets and a touch of cumin spice.
Pinot Noir Reserve
Order Code: GOPINO
Matured in Austrian oak barrels for 18 months and 6 months in bottle. Fine aromatics and somewhat powerful on the palate, rich in tannin, fully ripened raspberries and a touch of roasted nuts.
Order Code: MNSYDH
Syrah behaves very well on the Spitzerberg, one of the hottest spots in Austria. The name a crossing of Syrah and Sudhang (Southslope). Fruit driven, intense, fresh and spicy starting to show refined developed character.