Thomas Leithner Zweigelt trocken non-vintage

Kamptal, Austria; 12% ABV; Erzeugerabfüllung (producer’s bottling)
Imported by Schafer-Reichart Selections.  Producer web site here.
$3 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 25 May for a 1 liter bottle with a pry-off cap like on a beer bottle (which I’ve seen on some German wines I liked).
Was an excess buyer’s sample sold as a one-off.

Leithner_Zweigelt_NVI don’t recall tasting a wine made from Zweigelt (see other Zweigelts reviewed here) before, but is similar to some German reds I’ve had: dark, tangy, and a little spicy.  It has some of the softer character that I’ve come to associate with WA state Cabernets.

It’s quite tasty from first pour, with tangy and slightly funky flavors of purplish red plum, black cherry / raspberry, redder cranberry, with a little spiciness in the finish.  I thought that after about two hours of air, it became softer and more integrated.  While it’s not super full-bodied or complex, I found it a very tasty and novel wine.  Since this was only an excess buyer’s sample, I’ll give a price at which I think this would be a decent deal should it ever show up on GO shelves:  about $7.


9 thoughts on “Thomas Leithner Zweigelt trocken non-vintage

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Wow, that’s awesome! If you got a bottle, please let us know what you think when you open it. I hope some of it makes its way down to CA, even if it is $7 when it gets here.

      Was the 1L Leithner NV Grüner Veltliner (which I bought as a sample but have not reviewed yet) also there? If so, for how much?

      1. lim13

        Well, BW…while I find your description to be pretty accurate (particularly in regard to “tangy…raspberry, cranberry and spiciness”), this wine is clearly not for me. The spiciness comes across to me as fresh-ground black pepper and green peppercorn, which isn’t a bad thing. But the seriously tart acidity was like biting into a lemon…and there’s just no body or complexity to mellow it out. I tasted it on it’s own twice…and then with a pretty mild handmade chile/cheese tamale with mild pico de gallo. It’s definitely not a repeat buy for me.

        I first had Zweigelts about 15-20 years ago at an annual Society of Wine Educators conference in San Francisco. It was part of an Austrian wine and cooking seminar put on by the chair of the Austrian Wine Council. The class included instruction on making savory and sweet strudels. The Zweigelts and Veltliners accompanied white bean and cabbage strudels. I remember preferring the strudels to the wines and wishing I could have brought a CA Pinot or Alsatian Gewurz to the seminar with me. The only Zweigelt I really enjoy now is the one made by my buddy who grows it in the Yakima Valley that I’ve mentioned on this blog before. But his is much heartier and nothing like the Austrian versions.

        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Lim13. Thanks for trying it out and giving us your opinion, although I’m very sorry to hear you didn’t like it. I didn’t realize that you actually don’t like most Austrian Zweigelts, but I can see how a WA version could be more rich and mellow.

  1. BargainWhine Post author

    I saved 375ml of this in a “half bottle” with a stopper and very little air. (We drank the “remaining” 625ml the evening I opened the 1L bottle.) I opened the saved half bottle tonight and, if anything, I like it better than the first part of the bottle. The flavors are richer and more smoothly and softly integrated.

  2. Seedboy

    It sounds to me like they intended this wine to be consumed soon after release. only wine I’ve ever seen finished like that was a sparkling wine before disgorgement.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      I also recall this kind of bottle top on a delicious Riesling Auslese trocken (riper fruit but fermented to dryness). I would imagine it effects are much like a screw-top, but harder to open.

      This wine showed no signs of being too old.


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