A stellar Austrian red to start the year off right

Here are a few recommendations from my January 1 Washington Post column, including one of the best red wines I’ve tasted from Austria. I had the pleasure of visiting Franz Netzl and his family in December 2012 in Göttlesbrunn, in Carnuntum, just southeast of Vienna. It was one of those surprising Austrian houses, narrow with a gate leading into a courtyard that just keeps going, as the traditional home gradually morphs into a very modern winery and spiffy new tasting room overlooking a vineyard. I’m a big fan of their Carnuntum Cuvée and their sleek Zweigelts.

One of Austria’s highest-rated reds in Falstaff magazine

Netzl Anna-Christina 2011

3 Stars

Carnuntum, Austria, $55

A splurge to be sure, but this is a lovely wine from one of my favorite producers of Zweigelt, Austria’s most popular red grape. This stylish example is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and achieves a velvety texture and deep flavors of blackberry and wild berries leading to a finish that doesn’t want to quit. It is not widely available, but consider this a winery endorsement and look for Netzl’s other fine reds. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.

Tomero Malbec 2012

2 Stars GREAT VALUE

Mendoza, Argentina, $17

Argentina’s Malbec continues to impress with quality and value at nearly all price points. This wine starts out compact and tight, but with an hour or two to stretch it unveils an enticing floral note and a silky gracefulness. ABV: 14 percent.

Mayu Sauvignon Blanc 2012

2 Stars GREAT VALUE

Elqui Valley, Chile, $15

This Sauvignon Blanc from Elqui Valley in northern Chile has a slightly aggressive, grassy attack that will be familiar to fans of New Zealand savvie. On the finish it tastes more earthy than fruity.

Wilhelm Walch Prendo Pinot Grigio 2012

2 Stars GREAT VALUE

Dolomiti, Italy, $13

This wine conjured such a strong image of pure mountain snow runoff that I wondered if I were in a Coors commercial. But no, this is fine grigio, with the characteristic copper tinge of the grape and a refreshing limpidity over flavors of tree fruit and minerals. ABV: 12.5 percent.

 

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About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of DrinkLocalWine.com, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (dmwineline.com).
This entry was posted in Argentina, Austria, Bargain Wines, Chile, Italy, Wine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A stellar Austrian red to start the year off right

  1. Thank you for the great reviews, Dave!

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