Sonnhof Zweigelt Austria 2013

Sonnhof, Jurtschitsch, Holzfassgereift (wood matured), Zweigelt, Trocken, Qualitatswein Austria, Niederosterreich, Austria, 2013

See Classification of Austrian Wine.

Zweigelt is a 1922 vinifera crossing of sankt laurent with blaufrankisch, and the most widely planted black variety in Austria, with ~6,300ha (2015) [1], more than twice the second largest, blaufrankisch, with ~2800ha. Plantings are concentrated in Niederosterreich, and Nieusiedlersee.

Wines are characterised by soft(ish) tannins, medium (-) to medium on the WSET scale. Styles range from unoaked and fruity, to serious barrique aged offerings.

Zweigelt can be mistaken for zinfandel (but not this wine – insufficient colour intensity, alcohol and body) or a Beaujolais cru.

This wine: varietal zweigelt, screw-cap closure, 12.5% abv, Weavers Wines, £12.35 (01/17).

Consumer tasting note: an interesting nose of red fruits – cherry jam and raspberry, tea rose, toast and spice from exposure to oak, with liquorice and the vaguest hint of vanilla; light-medium bodied, fresh acidity with signature low-key tannins, fresh ripe red cherry and berries and soft red liquorice cross the palate. A medium length. Decant for 15 minutes or so.

WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears.

Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of fresh red cherry jam, over-ripe raspberry, tea rose, toast, spice, anise, stewed red berries, bees-wax, red liquorice, hint of vanilla.

Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (-) tannins, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, medium intensity, with flavours of red cherry, raspberry, cranberry, red liquorice. A medium length with a clean red fruit finish.

Quality: good, fresh acidity and low-key tannins balance the alcohol, all harmonious with the flavour intensity – a well judged wine with deft exposure to wood, adding toasty spicy edges rather than overwhelming the whole; showing some complexity from time in wood and bottle, modest concentration following into a modest length.

Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for a year, two at most – well-balanced, interesting complexity, but neither concentration nor length are there.


  1. Austrian Wine Marketing Board [online] accessed 18/02/17.


About citbp

I am interested in everything about wine, from site selection to tasting.
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