There is a statement in Jancis Robinson’s encyclopaedic “Wine Grapes” to the effect that there are even plantings of zweigelt in British Columbia in Canada. If this zweigelt is representative, it has been a very successful move indeed. From organic producer Kalala and the 2015 vintage, this wine opens to aromas of dark fruits and boysenberry. The palate is full bodied and the tannins firm with an almost Italianate pleasing rusticity. Ready to drink now, this is a lovely wine. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.6%. Price: mid $20s. Website: kalalawines.ca. Reviewed: January 2020.
I was not particularly taken by this wine, a grüner veltliner, from Weingut Bründlmayer in Kamptal, Austria. Its aroma is typical of the variety, reminding of spice and celery. The palate is somewhat “so so” with pleasant enough flavours of lemon, a medium body and a mineral impression. It however lacks the complexity and depth of fruit of the better examples of this variety. Ready to drink now, this wine provides sound but unexceptional drinking. Rating: Acceptable. Price: $20s. Abv: 12.5%. Website: https://www.bruendlmayer.at/en/.
Sankt Laurent, the St-Laurent grape variety as it is known in Austria, is pinot noir like in colour and expression. This particular bottle is restrained and earthy, and I would suggest appears to have a brettanoymces character. Its palate appears a little stripped, and hardened. Pity. Rating: Not rated. Abv: 12%. Price: $20s. Website: N/A.
If you wish to know about the wines of Wachau in Austria, the Austrians make it particularly easy to learn. Their website is terrific and here is the link: www.austrianwine.com/our-wine/wine-growing-regions/niederoesterreich-lower-austria/wachau/. This wine is from FX Pichler in Wachau, and is a “Federspiel” which is a classification in Wachau and means that its alcohol is 11.5% to 12.5%. In the glass, the wine has a delicious aroma of green apples, stones and apple skins. Resolutely dry on the palate, the body is fullish and the acidity searing. The acidity pierces without remorse through the fruit flavours, which otherwise have a plumpness to them. The finish is balanced and has a subtle length to it. A classic Austrian dry style, this riesling should drink well over the next decade or more. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $60+. Website: fx-pichler.at,
On opening, the wine basically just tasted like “white wine”. That is, any old white wine with no real distinguishing features. With time, the wine shows a floral aroma, with soft spices. The palate has citrus and white peach flavours. A fairly standard sort of wine. 83 points.