Muenzenrieder Zweigelt Classic 2008 - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee
9,95€; 13,5% abv; under screwcap. A rather nice little drop, sweeter and darker fruit than in the Bründlmayer Zweigelt that I am very fond of. Juicy and savoury fruit. More body, alcohol, tannin and sweeter fruit than in the Bründlmayer, but also less elegance and brightness and focus. Refreshingly tannic finish. I very much like it that we have two very affordable, very likeable Zweigelts available in such contrasting styles. I think I will usually buy the Bründlmayer for its red toned elegance, however.
N.V. Lopez Hermanos Málaga Trajinero Oloroso Seco - Spain, Andalucía, Málaga
100% Pedro Ximénez; 18% abv. Fermented dry, then some young PX is added to make an eventual RS of about 20 g/l. Orange/brown. It also smells of oranges. A little oxidative from the 3-5 years in American Oak casks. Soft for Oloroso, a little bit sweet. Gentle compared to Oloroso from Jerez. Long, spicy finish. A little too "easy" - not an exciting wine intellectually, but very drinkable.
Vicarage Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2008 - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
12,5% abv; 6,4 g/l acidity; 4,3 g/l RS; 10,98€. Very typical Marlborough aromas, pungent gooseberry mixed with tropical fruit aromas. A little richer palate than expected (maybe from the big of RS?) but balanced by clean acidity. Moderate length finish, but it was gentler than I expected from the acidity. If one likes SB, this is a good example of the Marlborough style for the price.
Karl Steininger Riesling 2008 Kamptal DAC, 12,5% abv.
10,25€ in Alko, which, after Norway's Vinmonopolet, probably is Europe's most expensive place to buy "value" wines (due to taxation and the monopolies' other quirks, buying "blue-chip" wines can be relatively cheap, but for everyday drinkers, these are the two most expensive places). This is a producer from whom I have tried only one wine before, the Gelber + Roter Muskateller 2008 which I liked very much. But despite having enjoyed other cheap Austrian wines in Alko's selection, I am always a bit wary when I see wines this cheap even from good producers, because our monopoly's margin is so incredibly huge that I can't help but feel that the bottle and the screwcap in this probably cost more than the wine inside.
Long introduction to say that I was very pleased with this wine. (I don't usually say positive things about Alko, but whoever there has been in charge of getting the 3-4 cheap Austrians in recent years has done a good job - IIRC I have praised every single one of them!) Lovely aroma of pure Riesling veering towards a slight, exotic peach kernel scent. Mineral, crisp, dry but friendly. Powerful finish. In other words, delicious for the price (in Finland) and certainly one to buy again.