Winery Profile: Weingut R&A Pfaffl
Weinviertel, Lower Austria

©2005-2006 by Julia Sevenich

As Roman Pfaffl took over the family farm in 1978, less than one of the 23 hectares were devoted to grapes. The initial wine production was not even enough to cover the needs of the farm's Heuriger. As Roman and his wife Adelheid expanded the vineyards, they discovered their talent and love for wine making and enjoyed encouraging success. As it became clear that all three of their children were interested in the winery business, they were further encouraged and the winery now cultivates 45 hectares. Despite now being a rather large winery for Austrian standards, Weingut Pfaffl remains a family business.

The Weinviertel is known as Grüner Veltliner country, the place where the peppery wine grows and Roman Pfaffl is known as Mr. Grüner Veltliner. 80% of the Pfaffl are vineyards dedicated to the variety and 4 single-vineyard Grüner Veltliners in 4 distinct styles are produced.

A newly remodeled winery combines old farm buildings with modern architecture which has eased the work at the winery. Representative tasting and presentation rooms have been constructed making a visit to the Pfaffl winery an enjoyable and very worthwhile experience.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Wien I - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Thursday, April 07, 2005
86
This wine is sourced from newly acquired vineyards in Vienna and a blend of Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, and Pinot Blanc. A cool fermentation in stainless after a short maceration led to a very fragrant wine reminiscent of white peaches, apple blossoms, and lemon zest. A vibrant acidity is paired with crisp fruit and a tightly meshes structure. An unusual and nicely balanced blend that is best drunk now and until 2008.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Zeiseneck - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Thursday, April 07, 2005
88
No wonder this man is called the GV man. This is the entry level Grüner Veltliner from Roman Pfaffl and quite a desirable standard indeed. Vines with an average age over 30 years and low yields, and surprisingly a cool clay soil have all led to a proto-typical GV. This light-footed, spicy wine possesses a vibrating acidity that plays with sweet vegetal flavors like red lentils and fresh peas from the pod as well as grapefruit, granny smith apples, and green peppercorn. Good stuff to drink now and until 2010.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Haidviertel Grüner Veltliner - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Thursday, April 07, 2005
86
This single vineyard wine should be the next step above the Zeiseneck. but this vintage it is not my preference. While having more body, it has less fruit and sweet extract and the acidity, while equally animated is not as well woven in the wine. Still this wine does seem to posses more power and aging potential. Drink 2006 to 2010.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Hundsleiten/Sandtal - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Thursday, April 07, 2005
90
This is one of those full-bodied, deeply extracted, and spicy Grüner Veltliners that you can pair with all those difficult ingredients like asparagus, artichokes, dill, and even radicchio Treviso. A complex bouquet displays celery root, freshly ground green peppercorn, bergamot and pears. Deep sweet extract is suspended in this bone dry wine and balances an assertive, juicy acidity, Drink now and until 2012.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Goldjoch Grüner Veltliner - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
87
This big, bold Grüner Veltliner has mild acidity and intense roasted aromas. At 14.5% alcohol and fermented in oak, this wine is like an exotically spiced Chardonnay. Toast oak aromas are wrapped around a core of tarragon, basil, and cress and the finish lingers with green mango and mandarin. This wine doesn't pussyfoot around, so if you're looking for something subtle with finesse... this isn't it. Try this wine with seared goose liver in balsamic gooseberry sauce. Drink now to 2011.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Terrassen Sonnleiten Riesling - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
88
This well-balanced Riesling has a wonderful play of residual sweetness and racy acidity. Clear apricot fruit and mineral flavors are clearly delineated and carry through sleekly on a long finish. Drink 2006-2020.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Sauvignon Blanc - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
91
This pale yellow green wine has an intense nose of elder blossoms, black currants, and grapefruit zest. Flavors of gooseberries, kiwis, and yellow currants are woven with floral components. Racy acidity, a crisp, refreshing structure and a mineral finish complete this nervy wine. Drink now to 2010.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Weissburgunder - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
86
This pale green-yellow Pinot Blanc has discreet aromas and flavors of almond blossoms and hazelnuts. While this wine displays good body and texture, it lacks the sweet core to balance the extremely racy acidity. Drink now to 2010.

2003 Pfaffl, Roman - Chardonnay Exklusiv - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
89
This pale straw yellow wine displays roasted hazelnuts, vanilla, and pineapple compote on the nose. Papaya and melon and a flinty character flavor the mouth. Despite the high alcohol, the wine remains balanced due to its depth and muscular body. The finish lingers long with a hint of nougat. Drink now to 2015.

2002 Pfaffl, Roman - Rossern Chardonnay - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
92
The nose of this Chardonnay is intense and complex with delicate spice and toast accompanying peach and cantaloupe. A firm creamy texture is flavored with discreet exotic fruit and deep, smoky minerals. A great wine in the style of Burgundy. Drink now and through 2012.

2004 Pfaffl, Roman - Wien.2 - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
84
This wine was sourced from Pfaffl's newly acquired vineyards in Vienna and is a blend of Zweigelt and Pinot Noir. Violet in color and an earthy nose reminiscent of beet roots and red currants, the wine is not initially very inviting. In the mouth it is better as spiced sweet red berries come through. Drink now to 2009.

2003 Pfaffl, Roman - Blauer Zweigelt - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
85
This ruby-violet wine is mild and juicy with pleasant fruit and inviting spice. Aromas and flavors of Cherries, vanilla, and licorice basil follow through to the finish. Drink now to 2009.

2003 Pfaffl, Roman - Altenberg St. Laurent - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
88
This transparent ruby-violet colored wine has a discreetly floral nose with vanilla nuances. Dark cherries and roasted hazelnuts flavor the mouth. The tannins are soft and round and rather than silky are like freshly pressed cotton. The finish is long and elegant rather than intense. Drink now and through 2011.

2002 Pfaffl, Roman - Excellent - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
87
This intense ruby-garnet colored blend of Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon has a nose of black cherries and cassis. The acidic structure is quite juicy and the tannin content is medium. This wine improves with airing and deeper fruit aromas and nuances of chocolate and pine forest develop. Drink 2006 to 2012.

2002 Pfaffl, Roman - Heidrom - Weinviertel (750 ml)
Monday, April 11, 2005
88
This ruby-garnet colored blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zweigelt has an inviting nose of cedar chest, graphite, cassis, and vanilla. This follows through in the mouth and is joined by flavors of dark cherries and black berries. Abundant ripe tannins have a firm structure and the finish is long and fruity. Drink 2006 to 2014.

Back to Julia on Wine Index Page