The second in The Wine Society’s new Bin Series is an Austrian red made from Zweigelt by Familie Mantler in the Weinviertel region, who do everything themselves, from looking after their 12ha of vineyards to ageing the wine in old acacia casks to delivering it to local restaurants. As for the wine, it could hardly be a better summer red because it’s best served cool or lightly chilled to emphasise its juicy brightness and smoothness. It’s hard to imagine how you could get more crunchy raspberry, blackberry and spice in a glass, or how they could jostle more companionably with the savoury pinch of smokiness and black pepper. It’s 13.5% and has 4g/l residual sugar (one of the reasons it’s best served properly cool) and it’s a good partner for sweeter meats like pork and lamb, for aubergine dishes and caramelised vegetables including leeks and veg with some bitterness such as chicory.
Apart from being the last grape in every alphabetical list, Zweigelt is Austria’s most planted red variety and is a crossing of Blaufrankisch and Saint Laurent, two other important red grapes in Austria. The buyer at The Wine Society who discovered this wine is Freddy Bulmer. And it’s available now – but when it’s gone it’s gone. Bin #001, a Spanish Bobal, lasted barely 10 days.
Bin #002 Zweigelt 2017, Weinviertel, Austria, £8.95, The Wine Society
Photograph by Joanna Simon