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Gwäss (Gouais Blanc) - Cabernet Sauvignon - Zweigelt - Roussanne - Weingut Christian Fischer

Gwäss (Gouais Blanc) - Cabernet Sauvignon - Zweigelt - Roussanne - Weingut Christian Fischer

Gwäss, or Gouais Blanc, can easily be called the ancestral Casanova grape. It is one of a few grape varieties that seem to appear in the family or just about every interesting variety out there. And until not that long ago, it'd been lost. And it was rescue, as these things go, by stubborn Swiss mountain winemakers.
We have superb examples of Cabernet Sauvignon from Switzerland, Austria, Italy and some incredible top-end wines from Israel.
Sooss, Thermenregion
Christian Fischer is widely regarded as one of Austria’s top red wine makers. He grows a mixture of indigenous and international grape varieties and the internationals are often cited as outstanding examples of how Austria can excel at these.

Perhaps best known within Austria is his 'Gradenthal', a blend of mainly Zweigelt with some Cabernet Sauvignon and a little Merlot.
For me it is the single variety Blauer Portugieser, Pinot Noir, St. Laurent and Zweigelt that really shine, especially the '100 Cases' no compromise wines which he makes in exceptional years.
But it's really all good at Fischer's

Gwäss is indeed a rare grape. In 1994 a mere 1.35 hectares were cultivated commercially in the Valais. Gwäss is the name given in Haut-Valais, Switzerland, for Gouais Blanc, also known as Président in France. Confusingly, it has a second Valasian name – Noir Valais.

Light yellow in colour, it has a lemon scented nose with grapefruit and green apple on the palate with some herbal notes and potentially high levels of acidity. It can age very well and the maturity acts to soften the acidity. Chanton’s 1991 is a particularly good example. Unfortunately, you will have to visit their vineyard to beg a sample!

Gwäss is a white grape variety that is believed to have originated in Croatia and which is important as the ancestor of many modern French and German wine varieties. This may have been the grape given to the Gauls by Probus (Roman Emperor 276-282), who overturned Domitian's decree banning grape growing north of the Alps. By the Middle Ages it was the most widely grown white grape in north east France and in central Europe. Gouais blanc was the grape of the peasantry - indeed the name Gouais derives from the old French ‘gou’, a term of derision befitting its traditional status as the grape of the peasants. Normally growing on flat land next to the better slopes where the nobility grew Pinot.

Having been widely grown in proximity to Pinot, the two varieties had many opportunities to cross and Gwäss is the parent to over eighty other varieties, the better known of which are modern day Chardonnay, Aligoté, Auxerrois, Gamay, Colombard and Riesling. The name Gwäss was first recorded in 1823. It's a vigorous high-yielding variety and traditionally produced wines with high acidity. Some stories tell that the Gwäss vines were planted around the edges of fields with other vines to protect them from thieves, the grapes being so acidic it put them off!

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  • Cabernet Merlot Premium Weingut Christian Fischer

    A magnificent Cabernet Merlot blend from Fischer - grab it while you can.
  • Zweigelt "Fasangarten" Weingut Christian Fischer

    Single vineyard Zweigelt, delicious summer red with minerality

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  • Gradenthal Weingut Christian Fischer

    Out of stock

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OUR WINES ARE CHOSEN PERSONALLY ONE BY ONE.

  • Each wine will bring something distinctive to your table.
  • Even the rarities are chosen for your drinking pleasure first.
  • From the winemakers they love most back in their home country.
  • You should feel safe discovering our wines so we guarantee them (see FAQs).
  • No constraint: No minimum order. Buy just what you want, whether a single bottle or thirty

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.

OUR WINES ARE CHOSEN PERSONALLY ONE BY ONE.

  • Each wine will bring something distinctive to your table.
  • Even the rarities are chosen for your drinking pleasure first.
  • From the winemakers they love most back in their home country.
  • You should feel safe discovering our wines so we guarantee them (see FAQs).
  • No constraint: No minimum order. Buy just what you want, whether a single bottle or thirty
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