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Austria

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Heinrich Burgenland Zweigelt 2016 (1x75cl)

Gernot Heinrich has 100 hectares of vines in Gols, Burgenland, which is Austria's easternmost province, lying only a few kilometres from the Hungarian border. After graduating in viticulture from Klosterneuberg, Gernot's vinous travels in Bordeaux, Spain, California and Italy convinced him that his best approach in this continental climate was to use indigenous grapes such as Blaufränkisch, St Laurent and Zweigelt to make the highest quality, most characteristic wines he could.

In the Wagram area, the hot, dry climate with sandy, clay soils on south-facing vineyards favour the production of ripe, opulent reds. A fresh, northeasterly wind ensures the relatively high rainfall in the area does not cause the grapes to rot. The vineyards are located 140 metres above sea level, with Pinot Noir, St Laurent and Syrah on the higher slopes and Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt on the heavier soils lower down. The vines for this wine are between 10 and 30 years old, located at various optimum sites of the Heidelboden between the Parndorfer Platte and Lake Neusiedl (the Neusiedlersee).

Harvest began by hand during mid-September. Maceration lasted for two weeks in a wooden fermentation vat. The wine was aged for 14 months in wooden casks and used 500-litre oak barrels. The wine was bottled at the beginning of December 2016.

Dark ruby garnet colour. Fresh sour cherry on the nose along with raspberry, liquorice, mint and clove. The flavourful palate gives notes of blackberry and bitter chocolate. The tannins are soft and rich, accompanied by understated acidity and a smooth finish.

£16.80

Heinrich Leithaberg Blaufrankisch 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 review of Festive Wines (see blue link below).

Heinrich Leithaberg Blaufrankisch 2015 - January 2019 Decanter review

Gernot Heinrich has 100 hectares of vines in Gols, Burgenland, which is Austria's easternmost province, lying only a few kilometres from the Hungarian border. After graduating in viticulture from Klosterneuberg, Gernot's vinous travels in Bordeaux, Spain, California and Italy convinced him that his best approach in this continental climate was to use indigenous grapes such as Blaufränkisch, St Laurent and Zweigelt to make the highest quality, most characteristic wines he could.

The Blaufränkisch grapes were sourced from old vineyards on the Leithaberg (Leitha Mountain) slopes, 150 - 300 metres above sea level, in the villages of Winden and Breitenbrunn that face southeast toward Lake Neusiedl and have around 20 hectares in total. The soils comprise the fossil-rich limestone, calcareous sandstone, and mica schist that are typical of the region.

The 2015 vintage saw hot, sunny weather throughout summer which was welcomed after the difficult, rainy 2014 vintage. The grapes in 2015 were healthy and ripe, resulting in fruit-forward wines with slightly lower acidity than usual. This was not an issue for a country that typically makes wines with high acidity.

The vineyards are cultivated according to biodynamic regulations. The grapes were handpicked at the beginning of October, then underwent spontaneous fermentation and three weeks maceration on the skins in 3000-litre wooden fermentation vats, with gentle basket pressing. The wine was then matured for 20 months in used 500-litre oak barrels.

This Blaufränkisch has a plethora of aromas, including cherries, peppery spice and earthy notes reminiscent of autumn leaves, fresh truffles and roasted root vegetables. This wine has fine-grained tannins and a powerful, long finish.

£25.80

Heinrich Red Zweigelt/Blaufränkisch/St. Laurent 2015 (1x75cl)

Brilliant ruby red in colour. The bouquet offers vibrant cherry and red fruit notes with just a hint of spice coming through. The structure of the wine supports the fruit-driven style and soft supple tannins make it approachable and ideal for early drinking.

£12.75
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