Leo Hillinger Hill Side 2009

Burgenland, Austria, $25

Burgenland is generally considered Austria’s best region for red wines. This blend of 70 percent syrah, 20 percent zweigelt and 10 percent merlot is an excellent example of the country’s imprint on international wine styles. It’s an energetic wine with a lot of smoky syrah character, rendered sleek and lithe by the zweigelt. I had to pull rank on my dinner companions to score the last sip.

KW Selection, Prestige in the District and Maryland, Select Wines in Virginia: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Tunnel Wines & Spirits; on the list at Atlas Room, Lincoln. Available in Maryland at 1311 Beer & Wine in Mount Airy, Bottleworks in Bel Air. Available in Virginia at Arrowine, Grateful Red Wine & Gift Shop and Twisted Vines Bottleshop in Arlington; Balducci’s in Alexandria and McLean; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville; Oakton Wine Shop; Red, White & Bleu in Falls Church; Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview; Wine Cabinet in Reston; on the list at L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls; Euro Bistro in Herndon; Foti’s in Culpeper; the Inn at Little Washington; Rincome Thai and Screwtop Wine Bar in Arlington.

Neckenmarkt Blaufrankisch 2008


Burgenland, Austria, 2008, $13

High-toned fruit, cherry and plum flavors combine with a nice purity and lightness to make the wine especially appealing.

Winebow: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cowgirl Creamery; on the list at Proof.

Tinhof Blaufrankisch Von den Hugeln 2008

Burgenland, Austria, $26

Smoke, tobacco leaf and cherry flavors combine to make this wine delicious. Its impeccable balance and acidity make it an ideal partner to casual dinners.

Nice Legs: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits and S&R Liquors; on the list at L2 Lounge, Veritas Wine Bar. Available in Virginia at Cork & Fork in Gainesville, the Vineyard in McLean, Wine House in Fairfax; on the list at 2941 and Mark’s Duck House in Falls Church.

Netzl Carnuntum Cuvee 2011


Austria, $17

This wine should be reaching the Washington market in October. For now, the 2009 may still be around; importer Klaus Wittauer skipped the 2010 because the vintage was short and not much of the wine was available. The 2011 starts off juicy and exuberant, which is fine for a young wine, but after a while it showed clear, focused, red-fruit flavors.

KW Selection, Prestige in the District and Maryland, Select Wines in Virginia: The 2009 is available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Alexandria and McLean, Wine Cabinet in Reston; on the list at Euro Bistro in Herndon, Screwtop Wine Bar in Arlington.

Hugl Zweigelt 2010

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Austria, $15 (1 liter)

Austria is far ahead of other countries in using the one-liter format, which offers one-third more wine for a bargain price. Hugl makes an excellent gruner veltliner ($13 for a liter) and this juicy red, which is ideal for dinner parties when wine facilitates discussion rather than dominating it.

Kysela: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Magruder’s and Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Eddie’s of Roland Park and Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore, Frederick Wine House and Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Goska’s Liquors in Severna Park, Valley Wine & Spirits in Hagerstown. Available in Virginia at Unwined in Alexandria, Whole Foods Market locations in Alexandria and Fairfax.