Franz Hirtzberger Sale 6-5-24

In This Newsletter:
Franz Hirtzberger
Vinopolis Close-Out Featurette: Collector’s Corner

Franz Hirtzberger

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Franz Hirtzberger may not be a household name in the United States, but the name (shared by father, son, and winery) is one of the most important in Austria. Franz Hirtzberger senior studied the vineyards in the Wachau region, identifying some of the greatest terraced terroir in the country. This interest in the terroir led him to co-founded the Vinea Wachau just two years before the 1985 crisis that devastated Austrian wine sales. The organization’s timely foundation helped the Wachau region reestablish itself by enacting strict grape-growing and winemaking standards for its members, much like the VDP in Germany.
Hirtzberger familySome of Vinea Wachau’s most important developments include defining the terms Federspiel and Smaragd, eschewing additives such as new oak and chaptalization to preserve the classic dry style of the region, requiring hand harvesting, and defining the region’s boundaries based on traditions dating to the 14th century. It also helps maintain the ancient dry-stone walls that form the vineyard terraces, preserving these historic treasures for future generations.
His son, Franz Hirtzberger junior, took over the family winery in 1983, continuing the legacy of crafting elevated and profound whites from some of the greatest terroirs in the Wachau. Today, their vineyards have a minimum slope of 33 degrees (and max out at 90 degrees). The vines cling to the terrain, held up by the ancient terraces.
These precipitous conditions create a level of mineral expression paired with phenolic ripeness in a way that is wholly unique. The wines are delicately balanced and extraordinarily complex, rivaling some of the greatest releases from Gobelsburg and Nikolaihof domestically, but could easily hold their own against far more famous (and far more expensive) French whites.
Though 2018 was a warm year in Austria, but was well managed in the Wachau especially at Weingut Franz Hirtzberger. Wine Spectator describes the vintage as warm, resulting in generous yields and wines, and offering excellent cellaring potential from producers that managed their ripeness and acidity best. The high elevation vineyards around the town of Spitz excelled in 2018, where, per importer Weygandt-Metzler, “cold winds from the Bohemian Massif come from the west through the Spitzer Graben.” (In their recent tasting of the vintage, the Hirtzberger showed the most delicacy and focus.) Stephan Reinhardt of the Wine Advocate concurs, noting in his tasting report on Hirtzberger’s 2018s that “Benefiting from the cooler situation around Spitz…” and goes on to note that “the Rotes Tor Smaragds is amazing in 2018.”
The Hirtzberger 2018s are showing beautifully now, but offer the freshness and energy needed for a long sleep in your cellar. Fill out your collection today during our three-day sale.
5% off any 4-8 in-stock wines from Hirtzberger
10% off any 9 or more in-stock wines from Hirtzberger

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Sale ends Saturday, June 8th at 9 am Pacific.
We offer four wines (that’s 46 bottles!) from Hirtzberger, including:
Weingut Franz Hirtzberger Rotes Tor Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau 2018 750ml Was $59, Displayed Price: $49, that’s $46.55 at 5% off and $44.10 at 10% off, 6 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott (Suckling) 94 points
“The nose here has a very restrained and rocky feel with such intense aromas of ripe citrus fruit, pepper and pears. The palate is dry, sheer and linear with good, fresh acidity drive and a smoothly rendered finish. Drink or hold.”Rotes Tor Vyd Hirtzberger
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2018 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Rotes Tor is entirely based on the fruit from Spitz (the vineyards below the red gate) and opens with a deep, precise and flinty bouquet that shows a coolish-mineral and darker-toned character with rather discreet fruit aromas. On the palate, this is a lush and mouth-filling, very fine and elegant Grüner with a long, intense and refreshing crystalline and salty finish. Excellent grip. From pure, weathered gneiss soils. Tasted at the domain in September 2019.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Weingut Franz Hirtzberger Steinterrassen Riesling Federspiel, Wachau 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $36, that’s $34.20 at 5% off and $32.40 at 10% off, 10 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91 points
“From the fruit grown in terraced single vineyards and predominantly from younger vines, the 2018 Riesling Federspiel Steinterrassen is still somewhat untamed and reductive but very clear on the nose that reminds me of the Rieslings from Tim Fröhlich (Weingt Schäfer-Fröhlich, Nahe). Flinty, fresh, very precise and refined, this is a remarkably fine and elegant Riesling with intense and elegant, really refined and piquant apricot fruit. Excellent! Tasted at the domain in September 2019.”
Ed Jenks-Weygandt-Metzler Imports “[Tasted Dec 2021] The wine is bright and crisp, with a focused edge, and flavors of apricot and white peach balanced on a lean edge of thrilling acidity.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
“Winemaking in 2018 was as simple as always. Keep in mind, though, that Hirtzberger doesn’t pick early, he does just the contrary. ‘I am aiming for drinkability and texture as well as for a long and sustainable finish. Therefore, I need fully ripe, strictly selected, hand-picked grapes.’ Hirtzberger doesn’t care that much about analytics. ‘Instead, I have a look at the skins. I don’t like them crisp but fully mature, soft and thin, because the berries have a more intense taste then’… In Spitz and the Spitzer Graben, Hirtzberger’s wines belong to the most opulent wines but also to the most elegant, expressive and age-worthy ones.” -Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate
Weingut Franz Hirtzberger Setzberg Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off and $53.10 at 10% off, 15 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“From the Spitzer Graben, and thus picked pretty late on October 21, the 2018 Ried Setzberg Riesling Smaragd is intense and concentrated but coolish and spicy on the elegant and promising nose that represents the weathered gneiss soils and its coolish terroir perfectly. Precise ripe apricot aromas on the nose lead to an elegant fine and balanced, almost silky-textured, full-bodied palate, with lush and ripe but precise and elegant fruit and a long and intense, well-structured and salty finish. Tasted at the domain in September 2019.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Weingut Franz Hirtzberger Ried Steinporz Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off and $53.10 at 10% off, 15 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Tangerine and peach unite on the nose in a quite disarming fashion. The palate comes in with more peachy juiciness and adds overtones of ripe passion fruit with both its tartness and tropicality. A lovely seam of vivid, zesty freshness cuts through the generous, abundant and juicy fruit, always with exotic highlights, always with zesty aromas. This has life and drive, energy and brio. Enjoy 2025–2045. -Anne Krebiehl MW”
Decanter 95 points “Franz Hirtzberger is the most esteemed grower in Spitz, and his wines can be surprisingly voluptuous. Often Singerriedl is the source of his top Riesling, but in 2018, I prefer the Steinporz, which grows on weathered gneiss soils. The stone-fruits nose is rich and opulent without being blowsy. Creamy, very ripe, it’s a touch broad but that ripeness is cut by a stony minerality. Resplendent fruit, fine depth and impressive length. Drinking Window 2020 – 2035.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Shop our four selections from Hirtzberger on sale now on our webstore!

Vinopolis Close-Out Sale Featurette:
Collector’s Corner Close-Out Wines

Our Close-Out sale offers wines from across the price spectrum from weeknight sippers to cellar prizes. We’ve slashed our prices on these treasured wines. So, stock your cellar now before someone else does!
In Stock Now:
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Asili, Barbaresco DOCG 2019 750ml Was $289, Now $219, 5 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“Sweet and succulent aromas of tangerines, freshly cut ripe strawberries, cherries and flowers follow through to a full-bodied palate with sleek and dense tannins that run the length of the wine and then fan out into a dense, vivid finish of fruit. It’s chewy and seriously structured with finesse and energy. Silky texture. This needs at least four or five years to come together and open. Try after 2027.”
Coche-Dury Hospices de Beaune Pommard Cuvee Suzanne Chaudron, Cote de Beaune 2019 750ml Was $899, Now $799, 1 bottle in stock now
Burghound 90 points
“An attractively fresh nose is comprised by notes of both red and dark currant, earth and a whiff of oak. The medium weight flavors possess reasonably good underlying tension and complexity though the finish, while reasonably persistent, is slightly drying. There are aspects to admire but it would be fair to say that the balance isn’t quite completely dialed in. In sum, this is good but not really distinguished.”
Hospices de Beaune note “This wine is a classical Pommard with good balance of freshness, elegance and tension. The bouquet shows a powerful, dark fruit character that continues on the mouth. A classic yet very interesting wine. When the Cyrot-Chaudron couple left vineyards to the Hospices de Beaune in 1979, the gift included several plots of very ancient vines. When in perfect condition, yielding small quantities of fine fruit, these have been retained. There is virtually no Premiers Crus vineyard in this Cuvée, but over 40% was planted prior to 1959, with the oldest block dating from 1910. More than a third (35%) of the Cuvée comes from the Southeast facing, low-yield hillsides of Les Petits Noizons, which dominate Pommard from the north.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fume Asteroide, Loire 2019 750ml Was $1,499, Now $1,199, 1 bottle in stock now
Rebecca Gibb MW-Vinous 92 points
“Just 400 bottles of Pouilly Fumé Asteroide were made in 2019 from the same vineyard as Pur Sang, but the winemaking is different: half of the wine goes in a glass wine globe (a bit like a bonbonne), the other half in a barrel. This is a more varietal expression of the grape and the vineyard with nettle tea, dill and boxwood. Winemaker Jean-Philippe Agisson suggests this varietal character might be down to the influence of the wine globe. There’s a firm, tangy finish and a touch of savory, nuttiness on the length. The Pur Sang is a more complete wine than the Asteroide despite the latter having the rarity X factor due to being ungrafted. Certainly doesn’t represent good value!”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ml Was $249, Now $219, 32 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really punchy and broad-shouldered with muscular structure and citrusy undertones. Full body. Lightly tannic and a fresh and vivid finish. This is the first vintage without malolactic fermentation ever. One for the cellar. Better in 2022.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The straw-yellow/white-golden colored 2008 Louis XV Brut Millésimé blends 50% Chardonnay (20 % from Avize, 15% from Oger and 15% from Mesnil) with 50% Pinot Noir (41.5% from Verzenay and 8.5% from Bouzy). Disgorged in January 2018 with a dosage of six grams per liter, the 2008 displays a clear, pure, fresh, chalky-tinged and vinous nose with lemon, white fruits, brioche, hazelnuts, white blossoms and some caramel notes. Pure, lean, fresh and elegant on the palate, with a lingering hazelnut flavor, this is a straight yet complex cuvée with grip and a long, well-structured and textured finish. This 2008 is still terribly fresh and should benefit from further bottle aging. For the moment, I am missing the mouth-filling generosity of the 2006 and 1995. Mind that this is the first vintage of de Venoge’s prestigious Louis XV where the base wines didn’t undergo malolactic fermentation! Total production: 10,326 bottles. Tasted October 2018.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2021 750ml Was $2,199, Now $1,999, 2 bottles in stock now
Burghound 95-98 points
“Once again a subtle but not invisible application of wood frames cool and ripe aromas of green apple, acacia blossom, petrol and airy zest-tinged nuances. Interestingly, the middleweight flavors aren’t quite as dense as those of the Bienvenues-Bātard-Montrachet yet the intensity is even higher, indeed it’s almost painful, while flashing impressive power on the gorgeously complex, sneaky long and equally well-balanced finale. This is also stunning but patience required.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Round and vibrant, this white leans into the citrusy spectrum of flavors, offering lemon, orange peel and yuzu notes accented by apple and stone. Linear and intense on the superlong finish, where the flavors expand and linger. Best from 2025 through 2035.”
Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2021 750ml Was $1,999, Now $1,799, 2 bottles in stock now
Burghound 95-98 points
“A trace of reduction isn’t sufficient to materially reduce the appeal of the honeysuckle, citrus confit and softly spiced aromas that are also trimmed in just enough wood to merit pointing out. The medium-bodied flavors aren’t necessarily finer than those of the Pucelles though they do possess more power and weight while retaining a beguilingly silky texture as well as excellent complexity on the strikingly long, balanced and Zen-like finale. This is a very serious and moderately austere BBM that is very clearly built to repay long-term keeping. In a word, superb.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Opulent and smoky, this white evokes butterscotch, apricot, peach, citronella and hazelnut cream flavors. Balanced, turning delineated and intense on the tangy finish. Shows superb length. Best from 2025 through 2035.”
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Beerenauslese, Nahe 2015 375ml Was $138, Now $125, 9 half-bottles in stock now
John Gilman-A View From the Cellar 95 points
“The 2015 Hermannshöhle BA is still a baby and was in its primary stage of development, but this will clearly be a great wine as well. The bouquet offers up scents of baked apple, tangerine, a touch of papaya, gentle smokiness, orange oil and honey. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, bright and very, very deep, with great focus and grip, a very long, perfectly balanced and nascently complex finish. This will of course be approachable from the moment that it is released, but I would strongly suggest giving it at least four or five years in the cellar to allow it to start to really blossom and show some of the secondary layers of complexity that will come with bottle age. 2016-2075+.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
We offer 206 wines on our Close-Out Sale in stock now, including selections from Cayuse, GD Vajra, and Markus Molitor.
Shop the sale on our webstore now!

Don’t miss our additional sales going on now:
5% off any 4-8 in-stock wines from Emrich-Schonleber
10% off any 9 or more in-stock wines from Emrich-Schonleber
Paolo Scavino
5% off any 4-8 in-stock wines from Paolo Scavino
10% off any 9 or more in-stock wines from Paolo Scavino

Discount will not display online or in your cart,
We will adjust your invoice before processing your charge.

Emrich-Schonleber sale ends Thursday, June 6th at 9 am Pacific. Paolo Scavino sale ends Friday, June 7th at 9 am Pacific.