Pittnauer Bfrankisch Rose 2014
A dusty, savoury Austrian expression of the Blaufränkisch variety has a nutty and marginally confectionary bouquet of red cherries and flowers backed by a hint of cranberry and marzipan. It’s long, smooth and savoury, with juicy, almost sour-edged raspberry and red cherry fruit punctuated by refreshingly bright acids and underscored by a fine, dusty extract.
It's 20-odd years since Gerhard and Brigitte Pittnauer took over the winery in Gols near Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland, bordering Hungary at the eastern edge of Austria. Over that time they've pushed the boundaries of Austrian red winemaking, in particular with St Laurent and Zweigelt. But then there's the Blaufränkisch and - have you ever tried Burgenland Pinot Noir? You must. In 2001 the construction of the fittingly striking production hall in the middle of the vineyards allowed for a quantum jump in quality and quantity.
Gerhard Pittnauer took to running his family estate at the tender age of 18 and has learned on the job. These days he and wife Brigitte run their own farm along biodynamic principles, eschewing chemicals in favour of natural herbicides to ensure healthy the soil, and now ferment with ambient yeasts. The wines are elegant, structured, complex and beautifully drinkable - qualities that were highlighted when Gerhard was named 2014 Winemaker of the Year by Falstaff magazine. This, the highest accolade in Austrian wine, shows just how far the Pittnauers have come. It also goes some way to showing what a fiercely gifted individual we have on our hands. But then everything, from the Pitti blend to the devastatingly good 2012 single-vineyard wines, will pretty much tell you the same thing.