2011 Weingut Franz Hirtzberger, Riesling “Steinterrassen” Federspiel Wachau, Austria.
This was my first chance to taste the Hirtzberger wines, and was tutored through them by Franz Hirtzberger which heightened the experience no doubt, but even in the cool eye of reflection these wines were totally remarkable and extremely moving, especially the set of 2011 Rieslings. While, I’ve always been a fan of the dry Austrian whites and have adored the charming Gruners and dusty Rieslings of many producers, these Hirtzberger wines stood out, in not head and shoulders above in many cases, and rival some of the great Brundlmeyer Rieslings. The entry level Federspiel Steinterrassen from Hirtzberger really rocks and shows unique terroir character, making it a great starting point if you’ve never had Austrian Riesling with racy acidity, minerallity and is comfortably dry and crisp. The nose shows orange blossom, truffle and wet stones leading to a palate that is lively and fresh with green apple, lime, melon and tangy stone fruits with a hint of tropical essences. The texture is refined and this stunning Riesling leaves a lingering apricot pulp and citrus finish with clear transparency and pureness. Great now, but can go another 5-8 years, gaining added complexities in the bottle.
($35 Est.) 93-94 Points, grapelive

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