Hirtzberger and Knoll (Mini) Blowout!

Posted by CrushWine

Hirtzberger and Knoll (Mini) Blowout!
2006 Singerriedel - 2005 Loibenberg

We'll spare you the wine business drama and cut right to the chase: Two elite Austrian Rieslings were closed out the other week. Today, only for those of you who have supported our Riesling Program in the past, we pass on savings of 25%+!

Franz Hirtzberger and Emmerich Knoll: If you're into fine Austrian wines there are few names with more luster, with more gravity.

Looking for Austria's finest (at well below release prices)? Here ya go. Please keep in mind, however, we have under six cases available, total, so please order ASAP if you are interested!

Franz Hirtzberger
Franz Hirtzberger makes gleaming, voluptuous, shiny Austrian Rieslings of incredible length, grace and amplitude. They remind me a lot of F.X. Pichler, at least in their glossy, sexy, curvaceousness; yet whereas Pichler can dance on tip toes, Hirtzberger offers more of a waltz, flowing gowns of velvet and satin rolling across the palate. The Singerriedel is Hirtzberger's top Riesling bottling and it is a monument, plain and simple. It is also one of my absolute favorite Rieslings to come out of Austria in 2006. There is no denying this wine is HUGE. 2006 was a steroidal vintage in Austria and Hirtzberger picks very late - this wine rolls across the palate like an Austrian Mack truck. What makes this wine so special, however, is its powerful lift. As big as this wine is, it has focus, it has delineation. 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 can buoy up and propel the epic dimensions of a Riesling like the Singerriedel.

I bought 3 bottles of this wine for my cellar when they were first released at $80.00 a bottle - most prices were closer to $90 or $95. Scoring this wine at $60 is outrageous. We cracked open a bottle from this last parcel when they arrived, just to check in on the wine. There's no denying the wine has gone to sleep for the moment, so if you plan on opening it up soon - DECANT! 12-24 hours with the bottle open and in the fridge will only do it good. Seriously. That said, the structure of this wine is well intact; in fact it showed itself to be even more focused and finely knit. This is a spectacular Riesling. 41 bottles available.

Emmerich Knoll
Knoll makes what to my palate are some of the most bizarre wines of the Wachau. If I've been slow to come around to them, I believe this has been due mostly to the fact that the wines were simply beyond me. I'm trying to catch up!

Knoll makes dazzlingly complex, Baroque Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners. They shoot off like fireworks in the mouth: subtle, delicate fruit notes going hither, complex herbal aromas going dither, salt and mineral tones flying everywhere. If Hirtzberger makes Rieslings with an unmistakable form and grace, Knoll is elusive, nuanced, klaidoscopic, dizzying, myriad. Like that quiet time in the very early morning, in the woods, before the earth wakes up, and even the slightest movement seems to crackle across the still air with a startling sharpness, that is Knoll. These wines need a quiet space, a reflective space; give Knoll a background with this type of serenity and they will reveal a nuance and definition that probably no other wine out of Austria will offer.

2005 offered wines of more human dimension than 2006; I think this suits Knoll very well. Loibenberg is a great site, known for producing wines of serious density and fruit, though if anyone can tease out the nuances of herb, soil, mineral and spice, it is Emmerich Knoll. At $45, the few bottles we have are a steal. Don't miss.

I should also say that Knoll's age incredibly well and perhaps one of my greatest experiences with Austrian wine was a 1988 Knoll Vinothekfüllung. If your cellar has a particularly deep and dark corner, I might suggest tucking a few of these away to be discovered by the next generation... 

Celebrate two of Austria's best and take advantage of a bit of wine business silliness. We look at close out lists all the time and wines of this quality rarely show up on these lists - for obvious reasons! To order, email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits