2011 Hirtzberger: Masterpieces of Brilliance & Scale

Posted by Joe Salamone

Masterpieces of Brilliance & Scale
2011 Hirtzberger: Riesling Hochrain,
Riesling Singerriedel
& Grüner Veltiner Honivogl

When you talk to die-hard Austrian fans about the best Austrian wine they've had, Hirtzberger's name comes up again and again.

Indeed, while the wines of Alzinger take fine-ness to its apex, Hirtzberger's wines work on the most monumental of scales, presenting Rieslings and Grüners that are textured and glossy and voluptuous.

These are the "Montrachets" of Austria and if the immediate comparison is to the wines of FX Pichler, in terms of glossy, sexy fruit, Hirtzberger's wines tend to show an even more complex depth of richness that rolls across the palate with velvet and satin.

To focus just on the textural intensity of these wines, however, would be to miss the true magic - this is only half the story.

Hirtzberger is located at the far Western end of the Wachau, where the Danube steers south. This region is called the "Spitz" and a break in the mountains that border the Wachau to the north allows the cold northern winds to rush down into the Spitz. It is this cooling air that gives these wines a tension and nervosity that propels the enormous dimensions of Hirtzberger.

Today, we're happy to offer Hirtzberger for the first time in three years. Availability of Hirtzberger has been spotty recently, much to our dismay, but things appear to have changed. To celebrate, we're breaking out Hirtzberger's top wines - Rieslings from Hochrain and Singerriedel and his Grüner Honivogl.

The pricing is as sharp as it'll get.

The 2011 vintage in Austria was defined by a cool summer and then, a gloriously sunny, nearly perfect, late summer and early fall. At its best, there's an extroverted aromatics of clear fruit with a backdrop of minerals to the 2011s. The wines tend to be ample, but as always Hirtzberger endows them with rigor, detail and freshness.

Hirtzberger's Riesling Hochrain is a dynamic wine of minerals, citrus and flowers. Hochrain displays a firm core of finely etched minerals and a sense of both athleticism and aristocratic breeding. His Riesling Singerriedel stands in contrast with its stately apricot-inflected richness. There may be no wine in Austria (or the world) that's able to integrate so much depth and complexity into a harmonious and regal wine the way that Singerriedel does.

The Grüner Honivogl is a masterpiece combining rich honeyed notes with a brilliance of fruit and a shocking energy and mineral transparency. We have to agree with David Schildknecht when he writes, "there is no more consistently fine Wachau Grüner Veltliner."

Hirtzberger's wines age wonderfully on their density and their finely tuned balance. It's well worth it to stash a few bottles away and watch them transform over the next decade.

It's nice to be able to offer one of Austria's greats again.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits