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Hiedler Thal Gruner Veltliner 2015

Gruner Veltliner from Kamptal, Austria
  • V93
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • WE90
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3.2 2 Ratings
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3.2 2 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

GV at its closest to Viognier or Semillon. This '15 has a round structure that wraps around you; it’s loessier than usual, but shows the typical fire-roasted pepper flavors; a very good vintage of this big juicy wine.

Critical Acclaim

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V 93
Vinous
This leads with riveting aromatic diversity. Ripe white peach and quince, high-toned almond and pistachio extracts and musky animalistic notes set the stage for a silken-textured, glycerol-rich, enveloping palate performance. Savory blond tobacco, incisive white pepper and piquant nuttiness all lend counterpoint and, along with gushing juiciness, render this beauty as invigorating, intriguing and refreshing as it is sumptuous. I’ll be surprised, though, if it proves to be quite as long-lived as has many a Hiedler Thal.
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Hiedler

Hiedler

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Hiedler, Kamptal, Austria
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From 35 hectares of Erste Lage holdings in the Kamptal, Ludwig Hiedler is crafting some of the most interesting, texturally compelling wines of the region. The Hiedler family has been producing wine in Langelois since the mid-18th century. Starting in 1980, Ludwig and María Angeles Hiedler have lead operations, while their son Ludwig Jr. finishes his winemaking studies and practicum at Von Volxem.

Hiedler’s holdings are in the best vineyards in the Kamptal, with riesling parcels in the Heiligenstein and Gaisberg, and grüner veltliner in the deep loess vineyards that rest at the base of those two mountains: Lamm, Grub, and Renner. Hiedler’s other sites in the area include a 'Grand Cru' monopole, Thal, Spiegel, Steinhaus, and Loiserberg. In addition to gruner veltiliner and riesling, the Hiedlers work with weissburgunder, the first plantings of which were planted by Ludwig's father in the Schenkenbickl, a 'Grand Cru' plot just below the Kaferberg. The estate is a pioneer in ecological winegrowing and only sustainable vineyard practices are implemented – intense cover of herbs and flowering vegetation are used, as well as a compost program and integrated pest management. The first organic experiments began in the sites Thal and Kittmannsberg and have extended throughout Hiedler's parcels.

Ludwig extends his natural approach to his vines in the cellar as well. For the past several years now, Ludwig has operated with only spontaneous fermentations, without temperature control, enzymes or even SO2. Grapes are selectively harvested by hand. After fermentation, wines are matured in either stainless steel or casks made with local Langenlois acacia, employing extended lees contact and selective batonnage. Notably, malolactic fermentation is never blocked but allowed to occur naturally, allowing Hiedler a quite broad and unique dimension of texture and weight; a distinctive approach to both grüner veltliner and riesling from this region.

Climbing north and slightly east of the Kremstal region, Kamptal has very little vineyard area bordering the Danube River (unlike Wachau and Kremstal, whose vineyards run along it). The region takes its name from the river called Kamp, which traverses it north and south. Kamptal’s densely planted vineyards represent eight percent of Austria’s total.

The area experiences wide diurnal temperature variations like the Wachau but with less rain and more frost. Its vast geologic diversity makes it suitable for various experimentations with other varieties besides Grüner Veltliner and Riesling such as Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc (Weisser Burgunder), Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, St. Laurent and Zweigelt.

But the region is probably most noted for the beautiful and expansive terraced Heiligenstein, arguably one of the world’s top Riesling sites, as well as some of Austria’s most extraordinary Grüner Veltliner vineyards. Kamptal’s soils, which are mostly loess and sand with some gravel and rocks, make it suitable for Grüner Veltliner, so much so that actually half of the zone is planted to that grape.

Gruner Veltliner

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Difficult to pronounce yet delightfully easy to drink, Grüner Veltliner is indigenous to Austria, where it has long maintained its status as the nation’s most important white grape. It became trendy among America’s wine elite in the mid-twenty first century, and has since proven itself to be more than just a fad, becoming a mainstay on the shelves of wine shops and the pages of restaurant wine lists for those who enjoy a crisp and refreshing yet serious white wine. Grüner Veltliner performs well in cool climates, and is gaining ground in chillier pockets of California and New York’s Finger Lakes.

In the Glass

Crisp and refreshing with plenty of lively acidity, Grüner Veltliner is marked by telltale notes of white pepper and a slight vegetal quality reminiscent of green beans, as well as a streak of minerality. When less ripe, it leans toward the lemon/lime end of the fruit spectrum, while additional hangtime at harvest can lend notes of pink grapefruit and even stone fruit. A hint of spritz on the palate is not unusual.

Perfect Pairings

Grüner Veltliner is a wonderfully versatile wine—it can pair with just about any lighter fare, from seafood to poultry to complex salads. It even works with spicy foods, and can be a classic pairing with Asian dishes.

Sommelier Secret

When it comes to foods that are notoriously difficult to pair, Grüner Veltliner has been known to step in and save the day. The sulfur compounds naturally present in asparagus can imbue a wine with a highly unpleasant metallic taste, while artichokes’ cynarin compound typically cause the taste of a wine to turn unpalatably sweet. Grüner Veltliner not only manages to avoid these issues, but actually serves to complement these foods with its sharp, pungent, vegetal flavors.

SRKAHL217_2015 Item# 239218