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Rave reviews for Austrian reds

18. December 2009

Austria's outstanding dry white wines and luscious sweet wines have attracted much attention in recent years but this has left its glorious red wines somewhat overshadowed. Glowing reviews from celebrated wine writer and critic Jancis Robsinson MW, amongst others, show that this is now changing.

The progress made by Austrian wine over the last 20 years has been phenomenal. Austria has become one of the most highly prized and fashionable sources of European wine, and wine lovers simpy can't get enough of one white wine in particular - the Grüner Veltliner.

But Austria is also blessed with exciting native red grapes and wine makers who are passionate about getting the best from them. Professionals and consumers alike are beginning to discover that the same terroir, climatic conditions and winemaking skill that produce the fabulous Austrian white wines also result in superb red wines.

Austria's trump card in red winemaking is its indigenous varieties. More than 15,000 hectares of the 16,700 hectares of red wine vineyards are given over to native grapes. The list is lengthy, but three grapes in particular - Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and St Laurent - provide the cornerstone of what has become a dynamic and quality red wine culture.

In a recent article in the Financial Times, world-renowned wine authority Jancis Robinson MW has selected two Austrian red wines in her guide to the best red wines on the market - the Krutzler Blaufränkisch 2007 from Südburgenland (Wine Society ) and the Umathum Zweigelt Ried Hallebuhl 2004 (Huntsworth Wine ) which she says is "Proof that Austria's reds are catching up with the whites." See the full article here: Financial Times [pdf, 181.1kb]

Meanwhile, Tim Atikin, writing for The Observer, also gave a special mention to the 2006 Rabl Titan Zweigelt (Waitrose Wine Direct ), adding that "Austria finally seems to be making a breakthrough in the high street as well as in the top-end restaurants. Good to see a few reds alongside some excellent Grüner Veltliners". Click here to view the full article:Observer [pdf, 406.5kb].