Both imported by Vin Divino out of Chicago:
2002 Zantho Zweigelt
This producer, located in the village of Andau, takes it's name from the village's first documented name (1488), Zantho. The label describes the producers as Wolfgang Peck and Josef Umathum--the latter surname being one I recognize from a bottle of 1999 Umathum Zweigelt that my friend Ines Nyby opened a few months ago that taught me something about how gracefully a zweigelt can evolve (what I'd tasted of zweigelt before, I'd not have bet on.) Her wine was delicious--shed of the fruity babyfat, all pepper and minerals. Anyway, this one showed that it could be such a wine some day too, rich and spicy with strong raspberry character and good backbone. Quite interesting. Decided to leave it for a day or two to see what developed.
I can't say it got more interesting, it didn't. It just went into a dull limbo and stayed there, day three no better than day two. Day four might have shown some improvement but we had friends over on day three who sampled this, so there was none left to watch.
Heinrich Red (no vintage found)
Neusiedler See, $15
Tasted second, my impressions of this wine were mostly by comparison with the first and such was the ambiguous character of the wine that it's easier to describe what it wasn't than what it was. Juicier, lacking spice, more strawberry than raspberry, monochromatic, some minerals, modern. Not nearly as complex or interesting as the Zantho, and more money to boot--$15. Couldn't tell if it would surprise us after a day or two in the bottle or fall flat on it's face.
It fell flat on it's face.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov