From the stunning Wachau Valley in the Northwest of Austria, a little over an hours drive from Vienna, this is one of the finest examples of Riesling from outside Germany. In the prestigious ‘Singerriedel’ vineyard which rises up from directly behind the winery, the vines are individually tended and meticulously studied and cared for in order to ensure quality. This is a labour intensive process which guarantees that the tradition of the estate and terroir is not lost despite the introduction of contemporary winemaking techniques. The wine itself is bone dry, with Riesling’s tell-tale racing acidity balancing with a powerful and opulent palate which is dominated by flavours of apple pie (tart dough like quality), honey, pear and pineapple.
The Hirtzberger family have been producing wine in the Wachau since the 1800’s and are now jointly run by the father and son team of Franz Hirtzberger (7th and 8th generation respectively). The Wachau Valley was awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 2000 and with the Danube river on one side and mountains on the other it’s hard not to be a little lost in its beauty. The area has a unique classification system separate to Austrian wine regulation, there are three tiers of quality and ‘Smaragd’ is the highest of these – demanding a minimum alcohol volume. As a result, this is a complex wine with a superbly aromatic character which certainly has potential for ageing. This partners lightly spiced Asian dishes and is a great companion to enjoy with Sushi. 13% ABV.