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Hirsch, Riesling Ried Zobinger Heiligenstein Erste Lage, 2016

White Wine from Kamptal, Austria

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Fresh and flinty, with a firm structure and racy acidity.


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One reason that Weingut Hirsch's wines are so good is that Johannes Hirsch did a lot of things first. He was one of the first in Austria to dump Chardonnay and really focus on Kamptal's great varieties of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. He was one of the first to farm biodynamically. He was first to switch all closures to stelvin. So he's had a longer time to perfect this style of hyper-artisanal winemaking than virtually anyone else in Austria.

There were hiccups along the way. Not everyone loved the Rieslings from the late aughts that ended up with some residual sugar. But it turns out that this was just what nature wanted to do in those vintages. And since then, Hirsch (and nature) have made nothing but classical, dry Grüners and Rieslings. He has avoided the trend towards higher octane Austrian wines that we have seen elsewhere. With lower alcohol levels, Hirsch shows the pure, crystalline essence of Austrian Grüners and Rieslings.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 92
"A gorgeously floral nose mingles gentian, iris, honeysuckle and chamomile with intriguingly, subtly reductive hints of snuffed candle wick that put one in mind of a Vouvray or Montlouis. There are also intimations of the mouthwatering marine salinity, crunchy apple and zesty lime piquancy that follow on a generously juicy albeit surprisingly spare, firm palate. The lingering, buoyant, brightly refreshing finish incorporates a collection of stony, alkaline, smoky and mouthwateringly saline nuances. “This has exactly 12% alcohol,” claimed Hirsch, “but we have to write ’12.5%’ on the label in order to qualify as a Kremstal DAC Erste Lage.”" -Vinous

Robert Parker

RP 94
"The 2016 Kamptal Riesling Heiligenstein 1ÖTW is super pure, fresh, precise and mineral on the nose, offering flinty flavors of crushed stones and lemon juice. On the palate, this Heiligenstein is enormously finessed, racy-vital and elegant. It shows a certain lightness without losing complexity, intensity or length. The wine is firmly structured, but all seems filigreed and mineral here, with no charming sweetness, no creaminess, no compromises. It is a pure Heiligenstein, and the finish is salty, piquant and very compact. A highly promising dry Riesling and an impressive Heiligenstein. Tasted as a sample in late June 2017."

What importer Skurnik Wines has to say about this wine...

Heiligenstein is a terraced south and southwest facing slope with a unique geological history that has been preserved in this particular area. The outcropping bedrock consists of a reddish-brown sandstone with a high feldspar content, coarse conglomerates, and minor siltstone. These sediments formed approximately 250–280 million years ago under arid conditions, in lakes, ponds, and ephemeral rivers. The rocks contain fossilized plants and gravels with clasts of volcanic rhyolites. Loess is only preserved in a few locations, within shallow depressions.

Grape: Riesling
Vineyard Heiligenstein
Soil: Urgestein bedrock, Sandstone, Conglomerates, and Siltstone
Fermentation & Elevage: Harvest in end of October. Careful whole bunch pressing, fermentation without temperature control and using only natural yeasts with maturation occurring in both stainless steel tanks and large oak barrels. The wine rested on the lees until the end of April prior to bottling at the beginning of July and release in September 2017.
Farming: Certified Respekt Biodynamic


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Pair With

    Drink With Poultry , Drink On Its Own

  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Medium Bodied

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