2016 Hirsch "Kammern" Gruner Veltliner Kamptal (Biodynamic)

SKU #1352608 91 points Vinous

 This cuvée, formerly (and, as Hirsch readily grants, misleadingly) labeled “Heiligenstein” because that name can also designate a Grosslage, is possessed of tangy freshness of apple and lime, an incredibly active sense of crystalline mineral impingement, transparency to greenhouse-like flower and foliage nuances, and invigorating nips of white pepper on a refreshing yet richly ripe finish. True, that description seems to fit Riesling more than Grüner Veltliner. But an earthy undertone of beet emerges with air to accompany the crunch and piquancy of which this beauty has absolutely no shortage. And while there is a flattering hint of textural creaminess, this wine’s sense of clarity and animation are also remarkable for the vintage. If one bears in mind that this cuvée is dominated by lesser lots from Grub, Lamm and Renner, then its sheer quality might not be so surprising. But as for its vintage-atypical personality, an attempt to explain that would have Hirsch taking us back to biodynamics and other imponderables.  (2/2017)

Wine Enthusiast

 Savory notes of yeast and miso hover over the glass. The palate is of a transparent lightness, just tinged with lemon freshness and that yeasty overtone which becomes more apparent and central on the finish.

Wine Spectator

 Vibrant acidity underscores flavors of nectarine and lime in this well-balanced white. The finish reveals accents of allspice and vanilla, mixed with sea salt and sage. Drink now through 2023. 100 cases imported. (BS)  (2/2018)

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Price: $19.99
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Gruner Veltliner

- Grüner Veltliner is the most widely planted grape variety in Austria, making up about a third of all the vineyard land in the country, according to importer extraordinaire Terry Thiese. The varietal has definitely increased in popularity of the past few years, as sommeliers and wine directors loaded their lists with this spicy white because it pairs well with so many things. Its bouquet has been described as floral, tending to toward musky, with hints of peppery greens, lentils, citrus and red fruit with a distinctive mineral quality. In the mouth the wine can be broad or precise, but is almost always distinguished by bracing acidity and flavors that mirror the nose. A notoriously good ager, you can drink GrüVes in their youth, or let them evolve in complexity in your cellar.


- Austria is a well-respected wine-growing region in Europe. Yet, even though they make about a third the volume of wine as Germany, not many of these fine bottles make it to the shelves of American wine merchants or restaurants. Lucky for us, their anonymity has translated into incredible value from simple, everyday whites to exquisite dessert wines. Austria shares many grape varieties with Germany—Riesling is king here, too. But the style of Austrian whites is much dryer and more potent. Grüner Veltliner is Austria's second-most-important varietal and makes whites of great versatility and pleasure.