Merlot - Thermenregion
South of Vienna is the district known as Thermenregion which takes its name from ancient thermal baths (Baden is today still a spa town). The district is often compared with the Côte d'Or in France due to similar soil formation and climate.
Thermenregion is centred around the wine villages of Gumpoldskirchen, Traiskirchen, Sooß, Guntramsdorf, Tattendorf and Perchtoldsdorf. It was only created as a wine region in 1985 combining Gumpoldskirchen and Bad Vöslau.
A particularity of the region are the white wines from the indigenous Rotgipfler and Zierfandler, which give exotic wines with quince and orange aromas. Zierfandler is indeed an endangered species with just a few hundred hectares in the whole world, most of it here.
We are pleased to offer a selection of reds and these obscure but excellent whites from a handful of really good makers. Our first choice has to be Christian Fischer in Sooß is one of Austria's top red wine artists.
We occasionally offer other wines from the region, from Stift Klosterneuburg, Weingut Gebeshuber in Gumpoldskirchen, sweet wines from Harald Zierer and the Freigut at Thallern, which has been making wine since 1141.
Merlot, although often used as a grape for blending (often with Cabernet Sauvignon), is a grape that produces some excellent single variety wine. It can be glorious on its own as seen in some of the wines from Pomerol and St. Emillion and this glory can be found in other expressions of the grape throughout the world.
A few places in Italy grow Merlot for this purpose and there are also excellent Merlots created in Valais and Thermenregion in Switzerland, but in that country it is to Ticino that we turn to find some wonderful single variety Merlot wines.
Ticino is of course right next to Italy and that is the language predominantly spoken there. Here they make Merlot into both red and white wine. Unlike the majority of ‘White Merlot’ this really is a white wine and not a rosé.
There seems no doubt that Merlot originated in France but it has spread throughout the world and can be found in most winemaking countries.
Following much DNA analysis and some archaeological searching worthy of a Dan Brown novel, it has now been established that Merlot is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. It has other well-known siblings – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot and the grape that was so often confused with Merlot, Carmenère.
Cabernet Merlot Premium Weingut Christian FischerA magnificent Cabernet Merlot blend from Fischer - grab it while you can.
Merlot Premium Weingut Christian FischerStunningly good Austrian Merlot. Mature
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Patronis Stift KlosterneubergCreated for the 900th anniversary of the Klosterneuburg Monastery Winery.
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Gradenthal Weingut Christian Fischer
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