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Sämling / Scheurebe - Zweigelt

Sämling / Scheurebe - Zweigelt

Scheurebe (shoy-ray-beh) is made into all styles of wine, from bone dry to absolute sweetness in Trockenbeerenauslese. The good dry wines have aromas of blackcurrant, peach and pear with notes of grapefruit and are worth looking out for. The good sweet wines are superb with grape and honey aromas. It does carry some of the characteristics of its known parent, Riesling. Scheurebe wines go very well with aromatic, spicy foods from appetizer to dessert.

“I don’t drink Riesling all the time, though I’d hardly mind doing so. Still, there are occasions when something more pagan is called for and that’s when I summon my guiltiest of wine pleasures - Scheurebe."

Scheurebe was created in 1916 by Dr Georg Scheu after whom it was eventually named, but didn’t get widely grown until the 1950's after it was discovered that it could produce some very good sweet wines.

Although German in origin, the grape has been planted elsewhere. In Austria it is often called Sämling or Sämling 88 as this was the seedling number given to it by Dr Scheu. It was named after him on its general release in 1945. It is most commonly grown in Germany and Austria but is also found in Switzerland and a couple of other countries.

Despite being a recent creation, all we know for certain about its parentage is that one parent is Riesling. The other is unknown.

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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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