Starting with the single varietal 2008 Josef Leberl Zweigelt Alte Rebe, with grapes from forty year old vines, I really enjoyed the smoky fruit with a lot of tobacco and menthol coming off. Violet then emerged with a bundle of raspberry and cherry. The palate has more of that smokiness, a bit of cherry, lovely savoury notes and a bit of tannin and almond. Liquorice on the palate but very well balanced. A bit of earth on the finish with some manure aromas. Not bad and a good example of this Austrian grape. 80pts
Taking Cabernet Sauvignon and mixing it with Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt isn't normally what a winemaker might do, but that is exactly what the 2007 Josef Leberl Peccatum is. Sweet menthol and chocolate on the nose, a bit of raw beef too and then a lot of Mr Sheen furniture polish. Vegetal green pepper coming off as well. The palate is quite chunky, a bit of sweet coffee and chocolate coming through. Nice veggie elements and more floral note coming off. Nice balance, fresh and a bit chunkier. 82pts
Finally I tried a sweet wine, the 2009 Josef Leberl Beerenauslese Samling. It had delicious rich, sweetened grapefruit with a lot of honey coming out of the glass with a bit of citrus pith coming through as well. A lovely turkish delight element coming through followed by peachy elements, more rounded fruit with a tangerine flavour. It is very nice and gentle, cleans up with a lovely floral sweetness, but lacks the zing you need to combat the sweetness which spoils this wine. I can't help thinking it needs a bit of Riesling to cut the rounder, sweeter flavours. 78pts
I liked the wines from this producer, you can see the traditional Austrian style but also the new world influences in their reds. Careful winemaking has made them good, solid wines and, although they produce sixteen wines, I'm glad that they focus on red as it is what they appear do well.