Michi Lorenz Sausaler Klassik Zweigelt Review

When I think about an acidic red, I immediately think of Italian food, particularly the types with a lot of tomatoes. It was perfect with my homemade pasta sauce, but if you’re more casual, it might have gone well with a red-sauce pizza, too.

Wine review by: Jessyca Frederick

Sausaler Klassik Zweigelt
Sausaler Klassik Zweigelt: front of bottle with wine in glass

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About this Wine

Wine: 2020 Sausaler Klassik Zweigelt
Blend: 100% Zweigelt
Winery: Michi Lorenz
Region: Styria (Steiermark), Austria
Cases produced: 160
Retail price: $42
I consumed it: September 2022
My source: The International Series of The California Wine Club

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From this wine club: The International Series of The California Wine Club

From this winery: Michi Lorenz

Region: Austria

Wine color/style: Red wine

Grape variety or blend: Sauvignon blanc

Tasting notes: Fruity, Blackberry, Cherry, Vanilla, Bright

Other characteristics: Small production, Organic, Organically farmed, Natural

Sausaler Klassik Zweigelt: What I think

Michi Lorenz isn’t just the winery’s name, he’s the winemaker, too. His family has been growing wine grapes in this area of Austria (Sausal, a small, hilly part of southern Styria in the Südsteiermark region) for more than 500 years — and in 1524 the winemaker paid his taxes with wine! The vineyard is biodynamically farmed and is Demeter certified. And as far as I can tell, there’s pretty much nowhere in the US to buy this wine, except from The California Wine Club and the wine’s importer Vero Vino.

Styria (known as Steiermark in Austria) is having a moment in the wine world. The region is becoming well-known among natural wine enthusiasts, a group known for coveting anything unusual in addition to wines that adhere to the loose principles of what it means to be natural wine.

One of the reasons Styria is getting popular is that importers, restaurants, and retailers all want to get the attention (and serve) those natural wine customers. According to natural wine importer Jenny Francois, “These growers are very serious about how they work their vines: the level of attention to detail, to nature, to winemaking — their precision and the way they push themselves to do better every year.”

This was not my first Zweigelt and I was excited to see it appear in this shipment. I love Pinot Noir and Zweigelt has similar characteristics, but is more acidic. It was as expected. The palate was “fruity with blackberry, cherry,” and a hint of vanilla from the oak.

When I think about an acidic red, I immediately think of Italian food, particularly the types with a lot of tomatoes. Tomatoes are acidic on their own and need a bright wine to stand up to them, otherwise the wine tastes flat. We paired it with a spinach and ricotta ravioli for which I made a topping from canned tomatoes (and lots of garlic and herbs). It was perfect with that dish, but if you’re more casual, it might have gone well with a red-sauce pizza, too.

Last updated: March 20, 2023

Notice: I hold no formal wine credentials. I am a wine geek who has consumed 1000+ of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs and 1000s more bottles that didn’t come from those wine clubs. I do not accept payment for wine reviews, and I do not accept payments to influence my opinions. I happily accept free wine (and I buy wine).

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