Grape va­ri­eties

Decanter - - READERS’ QUERIES - with Ju­lia Hard­ing MW

Zier­fan­dler

Three years ago in this col­umn, I wrote about the Aus­trian white va­ri­ety Rot­gipfler. Zier­fan­dler is its nat­u­ral part­ner and the two va­ri­eties are of­ten blended, espe­cially in Gumpold­skirchen in the Ther­men­re­gion. (There are just over 100 hectares in Aus­tria, in­clud­ing a few in Wa­gram.) How­ever, Zier­fan­dler also makes very good va­ri­etal wines, sweet as well as dry, that are pow­er­ful and full of flavour – or­ange, peach, lightly spiced and honeyed – but with the acid­ity to bring har­mony to those flavours. It has been sug­gested that it is re­lated to Sil­vaner, but DNA anal­y­sis in­di­cates rather that it could be the re­sult of a nat­u­ral cross be­tween Roter Velt­liner and a rel­a­tive of Sav­agnin. The berries have a slightly pink col­oration but the wines tend to be golden in both colour and flavour. Rec­om­mended Aus­trian pro­duc­ers in­clude Leo Au­mann, Biegler, Jo­hannes Gebeshu­ber, Hannes Hofer, Jo­han­neshof Reinisch, Stadl­mann and Har­ald Zierer. It is also found to a very lim­ited ex­tent in Hun­gary un­der the name Cir­fan­dli, pre­dom­i­nantly in the Pécs wine re­gion in the south of the coun­try. Rec­om­mended pro­duc­ers of this full-bod­ied wine in­clude An­dreas Eb­ner, Lisicza, Ma­tias and Radó. Wine Grapes by Jan­cis Robin­son MW, Ju­lia Hard­ing MW and José Vouil­lamoz; www.wine­grapes.org

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