Weingut Pittnauer was inherited by current winemaker, Gerhard Pittnauer, from his father at the young age of 18 in the mid-80s when Austria was amidst a giant wine scandal that lost consumer faith in Austrian wine. Gerhard knew immediately that his land was something special and worked to learn the best way to grow grapes that could produce what he calls “living wines.” He and his wife Brigitte now make biodynamic wines and use minimal sulfur, with the intention of allowing the wines to “grow” rather than be made.
Composed of Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, bright and spice are two words that first come to mind when tasting this wine. While I would consider it juicy, it has depth and precision that wines we term juicy often do not. This wine is a great example of the juxtaposition I tend to associate with fuller bodied Austrian reds; tart, but round, generous, but structured, this wine is inherently supple, but also has the backbone to stand up to a hearty meal. The grape varietals are vinified separately, then aged in 500-litre barriques for 18-24 months. Cranberry, bramble, peppery spice, and smooth tannins play together to create a wine that is friendly, but also complex. Though international varietals are part of the mix, this is not trying to be anything other than Austrian.