Zantho Blaufränkisch Burgenland, Austria 2021

Pale-medium ruby color; sour cherry, black cherry, blackberry, plum, pomegranate, chocolate, bramble, spice on the nose and palate.

Zantho Blaufränkisch Burgenland, Austria 2021

Dry; easy-going, approachable tannins; medium-plus acidity. Fresh, juicy. Light-medium body. Blaufränkisch could be described as Austria’s pinot noir, which would be loosely close, but it is its own wine. Black fruits and spice, soft easy drinker in this iteration. The wine fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel. Most of the wine aged in stainless steel to preserve the fruit character, 10% in used oak barrels to enhance the texture. 13.5% ABV

Zantho is located in Andau, in Burgenland, close to the Hungarian border. Winemakers and owners Josef Umathum and Josef Peck only work with indigenous Austrian varietals produced in traditional ways. The local climate and the austere, iron-rich, gravely soils are ideal for producing quality wines, including this finely spiced blaufränkisch.

Zantho vineyard

Zantho began in the early 2000s when Josef Umathum, a successful winemaker from Frauenkirchen, and oenologist Wolfgang Peck, together with selected members of the Domaine Andau cooperative, decided to join forces. Today, Zantho cultivates almost 200 acres of vineyards in Burgenland. Their focus is on sustainable, environmentally friendly methods. They export to some 40 countries.

Zantho owner Wolfgang Peck
Zantho owner Josef Umathum

The name Zantho builds on the region’s history. The website notes: “Already on the oldest dated document from 1487, which refers to the founding of Andau, Andau is mentioned as Anthwaw or in Old Magyar Zantho (s). The Pannonian forest lizard—the “Dadaraxl” as the Andauer says—adorns our labels. It is mainly located in the Hansag nature reserve, south of Andau, serves as a symbol of our origins and stands for the natural management of our vineyards.”

Zantho blaufränkisch grapes

Zantho Blaufränkisch Burenland, Austria 2021 is a versatile celebration of Austria’s signature red. The wine is most closely associated with pinot noir, but with more spiciness. This is a very sipper-friendly effort. Nice, very affordable gateway to Austria’s red wine. Have fun pronouncing it: “blau” rhymes with “cow”—fran—“quiche”. Pair with grilled sausage and spätzle; smoked sausage; red potato goulash; wiener schnitzel; lamb; beef dishes, beef stew; broiled, baked, roasted chicken; duck; grilled turkey; pork chops; venison and wild boar; pasta and pizza with tomato-based sauces; root vegetables; roasted sea bass, sautéed scallops. Cheese—hard cheeses; cheddar, aged gouda, parmigiano-reggiano, gruyère, swiss, also comté, brie, camembert, fontina, munster, taleggio, roquefort, gorgonzla. $10-15

Zantho website

Zantho fermentation tanks