Highlighting the 2020 Pinot Noir Zweigelt

Taylor Simpson
May 22, 2024 | Red and Rosé Wines, Tasting Room | Taylor Simpson

Highlighting the 2020 Pinot Noir Zweigelt

The Good Harbor Vineyards 2020 Pinot Noir Zweigelt blend is a distinctive and meticulously crafted wine, representing a harmonious union of 60% Zweigelt and 40% Pinot Noir. Originating from Isobel's Vineyard in the Leelanau Peninsula appellation, this blend highlights the unique terroir of one of Michigan's most esteemed wine-growing regions.

Tasting notes for this wine reveal a medium body with a long finish, embodying the complexity and uniqueness that Good Harbor Vineyards strives for in its creations. This blend offers a seamless integration of the fruity and spicy characteristics of Zweigelt with the delicate and nuanced expressions of Pinot Noir, resulting in a complex red wine that stands out for its elegance and depth.

With an acid level of 8.3 and a pH of 3.62, this blend underwent 14 months of aging in 25% new French oak barrels, a process that carefully enhanced its structure without overpowering the intrinsic varietal characteristics. The fermentation of each varietal was conducted separately, followed by a deliberate blending based on barrel selection, ensuring a balanced and cohesive profile. The wine is notable for its 0% residual sugar and 13% alcohol content, striking a perfect balance between robustness and drinkability.

What Makes Pinot Noir Zweigelt Unique

The combination of Pinot Noir and Zweigelt brings a synergy of flavors that is truly one of a kind. Pinot Noir brings elegance, complexity, and terroir-driven nuances, while Zweigelt adds body, fruitiness, and robustness. Good Harbor Vineyards’ 2021 blend balances the delicate finesse of Pinot Noir with the vibrant fruit and spice of Zweigelt, creating a unique and delicious experience. To understand the complexity of what’s in the bottle, let’s take a look at each of the grape varietals individually:

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varieties to be cultivated in winemaking and is best known for its role in the Burgundy region of France. It's renowned for its ability to reflect the terroir (the natural environment in which it's grown) more than many other varietals. Characteristics of Pinot Noir include:

  • Flavor Profile: Typically, Pinot Noir has a flavor profile that includes red fruits like cherries, raspberries, and strawberries. Depending on the winemaking style and the region, it can also exhibit notes of earth, herbs, and spices.
  • Light to Medium Body: Generally, Pinot Noir produces wines that are light to medium in body with high acidity and low to medium tannins, making them versatile and food friendly.
  • Challenging to Grow: Pinot Noir grapes are notoriously difficult to cultivate and transform into wine. They have thin skins, which makes them susceptible to various diseases and requires a cool climate to thrive.


Zweigelt is a red wine grape variety from Austria, created in 1922 by Fritz Zweigelt. It is a cross between St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch. It has since become the most widely planted red grape variety in Austria. Characteristics of Zweigelt include:

  • Flavor Profile: Zweigelt wines are known for their juicy and fruity character, often displaying flavors of cherries, plums, and sometimes a spicy peppery note. They can also have violet and floral nuances.
  • Medium Body: Zweigelt typically produces wines that are medium-bodied with a good balance between acidity and tannins, making them approachable and easy to drink.
  • Versatility: This grape variety is adaptable to various climates and can be made into a range of styles, from light and refreshing to more complex and aged wines. It’s also used in blends to add color and fruitiness.

Wonderful for Food and a Wonderful Value

Considering the Good Harbor Vineyards 2021 Pinot Noir Zweigelt blend's characteristics, its price point is a killer bargain for several reasons, reflecting both its intrinsic qualities and its external recognition. The combination of 60% Zweigelt and 40% Pinot Noir is relatively rare, especially in the context of Michigan's wine scene. This blend offers a unique tasting experience, combining the spicy and fruity notes of Zweigelt with the elegant, nuanced profile of Pinot Noir.

The wine's 14-month aging in 25% new French oak adds a level of sophistication and complexity to the wine, enhancing its structure and introducing subtle oak nuances without overwhelming the fruit flavors. This careful aging process contributes to the wine's depth and longevity, making it a notable choice for collectors and enthusiasts.

Critical Acclaim and Awards

Critically acclaimed, the Good Harbor Vineyards 2020 blend garnered attention and praise from several prestigious outlets. It received a rating of 90 points from Decanter, 87 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, and 89 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine. Additionally, its excellence was recognized with a Silver Medal at the 2023 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and another Silver at the 2022 Jefferson Cup Invitational, affirming its quality and appeal among wine enthusiasts and critics alike. So far, the 2021 vintage of Pinot Noir Zweigelt boasts a whopping 95 points from The Somm Journal!

Distinctive Terroir

Crafted from adjacent blocks in Good Harbor Vineyards’ oldest vineyard, the 2021 Pinot Noir Zweigelt blend is a testament to the vineyard's commitment to quality and innovation. We have created a wine that not only reflects the unique characteristics of each grape but also the distinctive terroir of the Leelanau Peninsula.
Once this vintage is gone, it’s gone for good. Because of this wine's rarity, you should stock up now.

Food Pairing Versatility

Food pairing suggestions include fish cooked in wine or tomato-based. It also pairs beautifully with poultry dishes, including chicken, duck, or other fowl, showcasing its ability to complement a wide range of culinary styles.
With everything this vintage has to offer, there has never been a better time to stock up. Click here to add this unique and versatile wine to your cellar today.


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