2018 Franz Hirtzberger Spitz Gruner Veltliner SteinfederGruner Veltliner from Austria
List Price: $32.99
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Franz Hirtzberger and F.X. Pichler (now Lucas Pichler) are the pillars of the Wachau, literally and figuratively. They are the geographic pillars, representing the two ends, Lo...
Franz Hirtzberger and F.X. Pichler (now Lucas Pichler) are the pillars of the Wachau, literally and figuratively. They are the geographic pillars, representing the two ends, Loiben and Spitz. They are the stylistic pillars; the richness of the warmer eastern end, compared to the minerality and purity of the cooler western end of the Wachau. And they are the qualitative pillars; by the consensus of most the two greatest producers of the Wachau, indeed of dry whites in Austria. While there are differences in approach, Hirtzberger and Pichler share the essentials; pursuit of optimum ripeness, meticulous work in the vines, intimate knowledge of each terroir, and unbelievable amounts of work. Franz told me that each year they do between 4 and 5 passages through each vine at harvest to pick the grapes only when each cluster is perfect. Compare this harvest approach to Grand Cru white Burgundies at multiples the price of even the most precious Hirtzberger cuvée. In the cellar indigenous yeasts are used, fermentations are done in steel, but aging is in larger, older foudres, and a special feature of Hirtzberger wines is Franz’s belief in not too long a time on lies and no batonage in order to express best the purity and minerality of each parcel.