Austrian red wine is sadly consumed almost entirely in Austria. The country makes compelling reds with a style and character that well suits modern tastes.
The local Vancouver restaurant Bauhaus not only makes superb classic German food but has the most interesting selection of German and Austrian wines in the city. I found this wonderful bottle on their list.
Weingut Heinrich is a new project founded in 1990. The estate converted to biodynamics in 2006 and now focuses on making elegant, perfumed wines. The estate is located in a sub-region of Burgenland called Neusidlersee, which lies to the northeast of the lake Neusidl. Heinrich specializes in red wines from the three indigenous grapes Zweigelt, St. Laurent, and Blaufränkisch. Everything is fermented with indigenous yeast.
Benchmark Indigenous Blend
“Pannobile” is a proprietary name of a group of 11 producers in Neusiedlersee, Austria who have committed to each producing a single wine each year under the name that is meant to represent the top quality possible for indigenous grapes. As such, Pannobile wines are made from a winery’s top vineyard sites.
In the case of Heinrich, the vineyards for their Pannobile bottling are located on opposite sides of the lake in the areas called “Gols” in the east on calcareous gravelly loam soils, and “Leithagebirge” in the west on lime and schist soils and was planted between 1974-1999 and sits at around 400-500 feet above sea level. Yields are quite low at 1.8 tons per acre. The wine is a blend of 55% Zweigelt and 45% Blaufränkisch.
The quality of this wine is extremely high. It is comparable in quality to very good village level Burgundy and shares a structural similarity with top Beaujolais and Jura reds. In other words, it is extremely perfumed, but also expressive and structured with fine, perfectly ripe tannin and pert but not-aggressive acidity. Expect loads of varied red berry fruit and plenty of minerality along with superb balance.
Excellent to Excellent+
~$45 USD (or $150 CAD on the list at Bauhaus – but I have not seen it in Vancouver private stores)