Josef Umathum is one of Austria’s best known red wine
makers. Austrian varieties St Laurent, Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch are
the specialities here. Remarkably, the terraced vineyards in the
village of Jois that Umathum cultivates date back to 1214.
These are serious wines that deserve broader
recognition than their small production and relatively high prices
permits outside Austria. You get the impression that if they were
French, they’d be much better known.
Also tasted here are the wines of Zantho (www.zantho.com),
which is the second label of Umathum. These are made from 50 hectares
of vines in the Seewinkel region, and are more readily available. They
are tasty and approachable.
Umathum Pinot Noir Unter den Terrassen 2005
A sweet, soft, spicy wine that’s nicely expressive. Good
concentration, but it isn’t heavy. 90/100
Umathum St Laurent Vom Stein 2003
Lifted aromatic nose with a herby edge to the dark fruits.
Beautifully perfumed and expressive. Bright open fruit on the palate:
sweet cherries and blackberries with a hint of spice. Full and
Umathum Zweigelt Ried Hallebühl 2003
Elegant sweet perfumed nose of dark cherries. The palate is broad
and full with great concentration of dark fruits showing lovely purity
and a hint of mineraliness. Sweet and forward. 92/100
Umathum Blaufränkisch Kirschgarten 2003
Smooth, supple, dark and chocolatey. Quite elegant. There’s some
spicy seriousness, too. The palate is concentrated, mineralic and
spicy with smooth, elegant dark fruits. Very pure. 94/100
Zantho Grüner Veltliner 2006
Vivid, fruity and fresh with a boiled sweets edge. 85/100
Zantho Zweigelt 2005
Juicy and vibrant with lovely cherryish fruit. Nice savoury edge.
Zantho St Laurent 2005
Vivid cherry, dark fruit, spicy nose. Bright, fruity and tangy on
the palate. Deliciously fruity. 89/100
Zantho Blaufränkisch 2005
Deep coloured, with elegant sweet, dark cherry fruit on the nose.
The palate is pure and fruity with sweet dark cherry and berry fruit.
Nice fruit here. 89/100
Zantho Zweigely Reserve 2004
Chocolatey, spicy dark fruits nose with an oaky, menthol edge.
Sweet, intense dark friiits on the palate which is ripe and spicy. A
nice wine, but perhaps a little oaky? 89/100
See also: Austrian
Wines tasted 02/07
these wines with wine-searcher.com
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