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Gamaret - Zweigelt

Gamaret - Zweigelt

Gamaret shares many traits with its distant relative Pinot Noir, but has few of its frailties. It ripens early, gives high yields and is resistant to most fungal diseases. Gamaret wines typically have moderate tannins, a robust acid structure and an aroma profile of blackberries and sweet spice.

With its good complement of both acids and tannins, Gamaret can produce wines of excellent structure. Its aromatics tend towards the darker, more brooding end of the fruit spectrum, peppered with hints of savoury spice. The variety is often blended with its sibling, Garanoir, to balance these darker, more serious notes out with Gamaret's lighter, fruitier character.

Gamaret was born in 1970 at the Caudoz research centre in Pully near Lausanne in Switzerland and originally named Pully B-13 before Gamaret was chosen. Gamaret was developed mostly for cultivation in French Switzerland, and is a full sibling of Garanoir which was intended more for the German part of the country.

Gamaret was released in 1990 and has since conquered half of Switzerland. It has also appeared in France and Belgium, and might be planted in the UK soon.

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What to Expect

The wines tend to be a lovely deep ruby colour and the nose is almost physically chewable with lingering black fruits, combining with sweet tones of treacle and caramel and a hint of stewed prunes in the background. Absolutely gorgeous.

On tasting, it is a surprise to find that it is typically lighter in the body than the nose suggested. Flavours of black fruits, especially cherry, come through with hints of plum in the background. Some Zweigelt will give a lot of spice, especially cinnamon. The length of this wine can be astonishing.

Lineage

Zweigelt is named after its creator, Dr Zweigelt, who crossed St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch in 1922 at the research centre in Klosterneuburg. Whilst crossing two great grapes does not guarantee a greater, this comes pretty close. Both parents are used to making beautiful wine and the child is too.

It was originally named Rotburger and in places is still known by that synonym today. However that can be very confusing as there is another grape, totally unrelated, called Rotberger.

Knowing the parentage of Zweigelt, it is clear that it is the grandchild of both Gouais Blanc and Pinot, making it part of serious grape royalty. It is also a parent of Roesler, also created in Klosterneuburg, an up-and-coming red grape in Austria.

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