2011 Weingut Franz Hirtzberger, Gruner Veltliner “Rotes Tor” Federspiel Wachau, Austria.
While Gruner has become almost a cliche or passe even, don’t think for a minute there aren’t some fantastic wines that deserve attention, especially this wonderful Hirtzberger Fedelspiel that while not cheap, is a great example of this fine dry varietal wine from the Wachau region of Austria along the Danube. The Wachau sits on the river west of Vienna and is mostly rocky hillsides, farmed with terraces, making for stressed vines that give great fruit complexity and the climate is cool, giving loads of fresh acidity. The terroir is unique and the wines reflect it to perfection and producers like Hirtzberger get the very best out of it, Hirtzberger is known to be one of the latest pickers for his dry wines, and that seems to give his wines an extra level flavor and more intensity. The 2011 Rotes Tor Gruner is fresh, crisp and almost spritzy with green apple, lemon/lime, melon and white peach pit flavors along with wet stones, almonds and a kiss of spice. This zesty Gruner Veltliner has plenty of interest and tangy layers to intrigue on it’s own, but I’m sure it is with food that this wine pulls out all of it’s charms, I would certainly enjoy it with some creamy cheeses and would like to give it a go with oysters. Not an easy wine to find, but I suggest keeping it in mind in case you do end up seeing it on a shelf, and enjoy it over the next 3 to 5 years.
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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