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The wines of  Pittnauer, Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria

Obere Hauptstraße 86,  A-7122 Gols, Austria
Phone: +43 21 73 22 84

Gerhard Pittnauer is located on the east shore of the Neusiedlersee in Austria’s Burgenland region, which is at the eastern extremity of Austria bordering with Hungary. He’s interested in biodynamics, which he’s now implementing in his vineyards, and he told me that he stopped spraying synthetic chemicals last year. ‘We only use sulphur and copper’, Gerhard emphasizes, ‘and we spray BD500 and BD501’. These are two of the biodynamic preparations that assist with plant and soil health. ‘We use a quadbike as well as the tractor to spray, because this has less weight’, says Gerhard. ‘We use mechanical tilling, and this year I will try a natural green cover beneath the vines.’ He reports that he’s very pleased with the results of the 2006 vintage, when he didn’t use selected yeasts. ‘The results are wonderful.’

Switching to biodynamics so far seems to have gone well for Pittnauer. ‘It was a big risk to change everything, but now I’m happy and optimistic for the future’. The wines tasted here were impressive, even if three of them weren’t made with the help of biodynamics.

Pittnauer Weisse Reben 2005 Burgenland
This soft, full flavoured white is a blend of Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc. The open, fruity nose is a little nutty. The palate is rich and subtly honeyed, with a lovely soft texture and some herbal notes. Nice stuff. 90/100

Pittnauer Blaufränkisch Klassik 2006 Burgenland (cask sample)
Deep coloured, this has a smooth, ripe, sweet nose showing lush, dark cherry fruit. The palate is soft and dense with lovely richness to the dark cherry fruit and some spicy notes. 91/100

Pittnauer Pinot Noir Fuschenfeld 2004 Burgenland
Attractive sweet cherryish nose. This is quite light, but there is some meaty depth. Expressive palate shows bright fruit and a herbal character. It’s an enjoyable, expressive Pinot. 89/100

Pittnauer St Laurent Alte Reben 2004 Burgenland
From a vineyard planted in 1965 which has low yields. Dark, intense, concentrated spicy nose showing dark cherry fruit and a touch of menthol from the oak. The palate is intense, full and slightly medicinal. Concentrated with lots of fruit and a long spicy finish. A powerful wine with real impact. 93/100

Wines tasted 02/07  
See also: Series on Austrian wine
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