The 2010 Beck Zweigelt is sourced from 4 Biodynamic vineyards each in one of the main grape growing areas/communes (Gols, Halbturn, Winden and Apetlon) in Burgenland, eastern Austria. This region is the warmest in Austria and the vineyards are located on the eastern side of Lake Neusiedl. The Zweigelt grape was created by Fritz Zweigelt in 1922 by crossing St. Laurent (related to Pinot Noir) and Blaufrankish (a grape common to Central Europe) also known as Lemberger. The Beck Winery was founded in 1976 and the current winemaker, Judith Beck has been in charge since 2004. The Zweigelt is aged in both small, some new but mostly used oak barrels and a large wooden barrel. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is a clear, shiny ruby red. The nose has a husky feel to it, like there is some depth to it, cherry, strawberry and cocoa powder. It starts out smooth with very fresh fruit, cherry, plum, milk chocolate and transitions to a tart spicy mid palate, sour raspberry, orange zest and a light touch of cinnamon spice. The tannins are soft and the acidity is well balanced, allowing the finish to roll on and on.
To be honest, whenever I sampled Austrian or German Red wine in the past, I was pleasantly surprised, it was better than I thought it was going to be, but I never found it compelling enough to go back and revisit the wine. The Beck Zweigelt has changed my opinion, this is a wine that is reminiscent of a good Gamay or a Central Coast California Pinot Noir, but with its own unique style. I wasn’t thinking, “This is a good Austrian wine, I was thinking this is a good wine, period”. I am putting Judith Beck on my list of winemakers to watch.