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Dinstlgut Loiben (Austria) Blauer Zweigelt 2003
I have watched and admired the progress of Nick Dobson Wines since the company started a few years ago, in which time Nick has forged his own path to source and import some terrific wines from small producers in Burgundy, Beaujolais Switzerland, Germany and now Austria. From Kremstal, this Qualitätswein red wine is made from the Zweigelt grape, a crossing of two Austrian speciality grapes, Blaufränkish and St-Laurent. The colour is a bright crimson/cherry red, and the nose is immediately fruity and very appealing, with a hint of juicy sultanas, plenty of vivid cherry fruit and an undertow of earthy, subtly smoky character that is quite Pinot Noir-like. On the palate it is richly fruity, with a medium body and very juicy, broadly fruity style. There is plenty of fruit sweetness, but this is mellow and quite darkly rich on the palate, with notes of autumn berries and a faint truffly hint. I thought this worked sensationally well with a Moroccan lamb tagine. Very good indeed. Nick Dobson Wines £8.95