Zweigelt – a crossing of Saint-Laurent with Blaufrankisch, created in 1922 – is the most widely planted red-wine grape in Austria. A highly popular variety, it is grown in every Austrian wine region, with the finest examples coming from Burgenland, particularly the Neusiedlersee. A classic Austrian Zweigelt is richly coloured with a deep, bright core of spiced cherry and raspberry flavours. The finest examples have the potential to cellar well for a decade or so, but the majority are best consumed within a few years of release.
Although varietal Zweigelt wines are very common, the grape is also commonly used in blends. It is often combined with Cabernet and Merlot to create an Austrian twist on the classic Bordeaux Blend. Just as commonly it is married with its parent-variety Blaufrankisch for a pure-blooded (if somewhat incestuous) all-star Austrian blend.