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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
27 Jul 2012

From €7.50, £11.95, 13.15 Swiss francs

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How about an explosively fruity Austrian white this week? It's screwcapped too, for ease of access and maintenance of an open bottle. (There may be a small return to cork, as we reported yesterday, but you can't beat screwcaps for convenience. I find them even more convenient than the - more attractive - Vinolok glass stoppers that have broken a few of my nails.)

Pfaffl is an admired producer in Austria's Weinviertel with Roman Pfaffl and his wife Adelheid having built up the family's vine holdings over the last 30 years from 0.75 ha to the current total of 75 ha just north of Vienna. Roman's son Roman Josef and daughter Heidemarie are now taking over the reins and to my mind, this 'summer wine', deliberately low in alcohol and high in immediate fruit impact, is one of their most delightful wines.

It's the produce of vineyards within the boundaries of Vienna itself, hence its appellation Wien (Vienna in German, of course, disconcertingly like wine in German, Wein), and is a blend of about 60% Riesling 'for fruit and fragrance' with 20% Pinot Blanc 'for body' and 20% of the family's speciality grape Grüner Veltliner 'for spice'. The blend is just 11.5% and seems to have just a little youthful spritz. It's a great drink without food - really refreshing, well balanced and quintessentially Austrian. It apparently won second best blend and third best 'summer wine' (under 12% alcohol) according to a big taste-off organised by the Austrian wine magazine Vinaria.

I just wish everyone could buy it in Austria or Germany, where it costs well under €10. By the time it makes its way through the British tax system it costs £11.95 a bottle from Vin Neuf of Stratford-upon-Avon or £70 for a case of six from Christopher Keiller in Dorset. I'd drink it sooner rather than later but I don't suppose, stuffed as it is with fruit, acidity and carbon dioxide, that it declines too rapidly.

Find out more about the family company at and Purple Pagers can see my tasting notes on their current range. Do consider taking advantage of our very special Olympian Purple Pages offer, saving £20.12 on the usual £69 annual membership, reducing it to a neat £48.88, or equivalent in your chosen currency. There are more than 70,000 wine reviews to choose from, more than 9,000 articles, all of The Oxford Companion to Wine, etc etc.

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