The Wittmann winery recently got a lot of attention from us - and what is not to like? A wine making family with lots of tradition (been in the business since 1663), unafraid to try new things (they went biodynamic five years ago), and, well, more than capable to deliver the thunder to your wine glass. The latest Wittmann in our collection is no exception here, even though it is not entirely without problems.
I opened the bottle of Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) because I was looking for a dry wine with a bit of substance to be strong yet delicate enough to go with roast partridge. What I got was almost more than what I bargained for, because this wine is indeed quite strong.
First of all the colour: a medium yellow, a little shiny, as if faint green rays of light were sent through the wine. The wine takes a little time to open up, so either decant it or drink over a day or two. Leaving the yeast notes behind that you get immediately after opening the bottle, the Wittmann over time presents a delightful nose of stone fruit and melon, lots of herb and some nut and wood, embedded in a little mineral and fresh acidity (of the green apple type). The herb oscillated between a more woodland type, including pine needles, and a fennel-vegetable style, in a somewhat confusing (for those trying to figure out which herb it was) and yet very pleasant way. On the tongue the wine is juicy, especially in the strong finish, but clearly dry and with a bit of an edge. It is very well structured, has clear fruit and a mouth-filling, juicy, herb, spicy finish that lasts, with just the right amount of exposure to wood (the Pinot has seen a small wooden barrel during maturation).
So what's not to like about a wine like this? Well, it has 14% of alcohol, and while the Wittmann at no points tastes alcoholic it has almost too much power. The 14% are clearly as well integrated as they can be, but it is just a little too much for me to rate the wine among very high, despite the really impressive finish. If you like your white wine strong or if you serve food that can take it, by all means, go for it, you will not be disappointed. If like me you prefer less alcohol you will like this wine well enough to be really excited to try the 2008 vintage that has 'only' 13%. If the 13% 2008 is as good as this one here, it will be spectacular.