TN: 2021 Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Rotes Tor

Spending some time in Vienna in July reinvigorated my enthusiasm for Austria wine but that hasn’t necessarily resulted in drinking any more of the country’s wine than before. Well that’s my loss as once again I find myself praising the Austrian wine in my glass with superlatives.

I am sure the Swedish 19th century opera singer Per Adolf Janzon’s signature dish ’Janssons Frestelse’ (Jansson’s temptation) doesn’t warrant any introduction here. It’s not something people necessarily open wine for but I thought something like a Federspriel Grüner Veltliner could make for a good pairing and so it did. One could argue that this wine is a tad bit concentrated for the designation but regardless it is absolutely stellar and just very refined. I love the minerally drive and the lip-smacking finish and the terrific balance. I also love the price tag - at 26€ this is close to other producers’ Smaragd wines but better than many of them. I would rebuy in a heartbeat.

  • 2021 Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Rotes Tor - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau (1.12.2022)
    Bright-fruited and savory, salty even, on the nose with pretty much textbook aromatics of green and yellow apple, pear, white pepper, minerals and yeast. While aromatically exactly what you would expect there is clarity and depth to it that clearly elevate to above ”standard” level. On the palate it is broader and more voluminous as many a Federspiel but it sports wonderful acidity that provide lift, focus and a nervous feel. Feels quite dry and here even more so than on the nose the salty and savory elements dominate. That is not to say that it lacks fruit, though, as the barely ripe apple-driven fruit is there in sufficient volume. As one would hope from a Federspiel this is very light on its feet and immense drinkable. Hugely successful example of this level of the Wachau hierarchy at this stage of the climate change.

Posted from CellarTracker

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Haven’t had the 21, but previous vintages have been lovely. Not uncommon to find on a BTG list around here, at certain restaurants. Wish it was cheaper here, ugh.

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Ok. You got me. I had to look up Jansson’s temptation. Doesn’t tempt me, but you Scandanavians use fish in ways my people don’t.

I think you have summarized Hirtzberger’s style really well here. They are very weighty, so that the Federspiele almost feel like Smaragde and the Smaragde can be really big (sometimes too big, though I think they are watching this a bit more than, say, ten years ago). The Federspiele (both Riesling and GV) are always good buys.

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Somehow I’m not surprised :grinning: it’s not anything that I would ever crave for but my spouse loves it so it is somewhat of a staple in our household. It’s not something you have to be scared of unlike some other Nordic treats, however!

Now that you mention it, I have to find the Federspiel Riesling from Hirtzberger next.

I can imagine that 26€ in Vienna could translate for say ~40 USD for something like this but I hope we are not talking about a whole lot more. Without a doubt it is a great restaurant wine given its versatility and how well it was drinking from the get-go.

Yes, mostly under $40. I see some 2020 locally for $37, which isn’t bad. 21 isn’t here yet.