I have travelled to Austria a lot and have been lucky to taste many of their wines. TWS’s offer of whites is quite nice (although much more can be discovered in the slightly higher price categories), but not so for the reds. Two reds from Burgenland (from Igler and Pittnauer) are available, but there are so many more fantastic examples in the somewhat higher price categories of say £15-35. In the town of Gols nine wineries compete every year to produce the best cuvee, and they call it “Pannobile”. Pittnauer is one of them. I have tried over the last 15 years many of these Pannobile’s and have never been disappointed. But there are many other great red cuvee’s available. I am sure the members of TWS would be grateful for more opportunities to try Austria’s great wines.
More examples of Zweigelt, St Laurent and Blaufränkisch will definitely go down well - and not just those from Igler and Pittnauer (good as they are) - but Pfaffl, Umathum and Braunstein (there was one excellent wine from her on the list recently).
Personally, I would love to see more whites too - not just Gruner. Rotgipfler can make really complex, weighty wines, and blended with Zierfandler - can make delicious Gumpoldskirchner. Roter Veltliner is another lovely white.
There’s so much more out there - though not particularly cheap - but to my mind these are wines worth paying for.
Can only second your view on the Blaufrankisch ‘Leithaberg’ from Birgit Braunstein. That was a cracking wine.
Austrian reds are something I’d like to explore further. Actually, make that central European reds in general. My limited experiences, so far, have for the most part, been really favourable. The lighter / medium bodied reds especially.
I couldn’t agree more. How about some white rieslings from Wachau. I love the ones with lots of body, rieslings “Smaragd”, great examples that I take back home whenever I can lay my hands on them are those from Knoll, Prager, Domaine Wachau and Pichler just to name a few. I am lucky enough to have to travel to Krems for work once a year, and am always looking forward to that opportunity to go and taste more new wines.
That reminds me, I have a bottle of this waiting for me in Budapest, I think this Easter is the time to have it finally.
Can only second the dry Wachau Rieslings… less acquainted with Austrian reds.
Completely agree with these sentiments. Discovering how good Austrian red can be was a great “A-ha” moment. The Society used to sell more, too, such as this one from Pittnauer which was just stunning:
I’d love to see some more Austrian Pinot - tried this in a Restaurant in Munich and it was stunning - a great Burgundy alternative:
This looks great!
The Thermenregion is definitely worth exploring! It’s the home of Rotgipfler, but they definitely make some very good PN too.
This sparkling one is a cracking example too:
Not from TWS but has anyone tried this?
Yes, we had it last summer and really enjoyed it. Zweigelt is not meant to age very well, due to relatively low acidity - but this example was 5 years old and still going strong.
Can’t find my original post of it, but found one alluding to it with the notes.
Yet sometimes it does beautifully. I have had a 2007 from Raspi in 2018 that was great. From the
right other side of the border admittedly.
Yes, Umathum is nice, I again prefer the cuvee over the single variety wines. Umathum has a nice cuvee called Haideboden which I have tried and enjoyed several times over the years. https://en.umathum.at/haideboden-2016-normal
The Society stocked their really good rosé last year -
to my mind a far more interesting rosé than many other pinks on the market, and it was sold out really quickly.
A good sign, I think, that there is appetite for these wines!
The 2016, planning to try it after Easter.
We had it with baked salmon and Jersey royals - it was such a lovely match.
Also wonder why the WS doesn’t do the odd Austrian sweet wine. Some amazing wines from a number of growers.
Can’t resist that recommendation. It’s on my Waitrose shortlist, waiting for the next 25% offer.
Another two great examples of red cuvee’s are Opus Eximium from Gesellmann and Peccatum from Leberl.
The wines that I have mentioned in these posts are typically in the £18-25 range.
Nice JR piece on Austrian wines, mainly by TWS this weekend in FT, so presumably longer article soon on JR.com If you look up the vendor she mentions can download a terrific wine list that is a fun read. Austria’s great value reds - Austria's reds mature… | JancisRobinson.com
Edited to include better link provided by @JosK below.
Free article here on her website: Austria's reds mature… | JancisRobinson.com
She recommends ten wines, and six are from TWS!!