Big thanks to Tim at Weygandt Wines for providing these bottles for us, and to the folks at Sun Wah for hosting us with the great food and great service.
Overall, the wines were very good. I thought the Rieslings were a bit more exciting than the Gruners with the Singerriedel and Setzberg outdoing the rest. The Gruners, as a group, seemed a bit brutish...the alcohol crept into some of them and, at times, the fruit seemed a bit gummy. This was a great opportunity to try a great collection of wines.
2011 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Hochrain - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau Shutdown aromatics. The palate, however, had really nice sweet peach and passion fruit. Thought the acidity was really nice here. Had some subtle apricot and truffle notes too. Interesting stuff. (90 pts.)
2011 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Setzberg - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau Magical stuff. Exotic nose of tropical fruits, petrichor, lanolin, and minerals. The palate was plush, rich and crystalline. I was really struck by the purity and depth of the fruit. Young but staggeringly good. (94 pts.)
2011 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Singerriedel - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau A serious Riesling. Stunning aromatics of tropical fruits with the ever present cool mineral note. Needless to say the wine is young and a bit brutish, but the balance of exotic fruits, acidity, and minerality is really something. The complete package of intense flavor, airy mouthfeel, and bracing acidity. (95 pts.)
2011 Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Kirchweg - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau Of all the Gruners this seemed to be the biggest in scale. The nose was a bit warmer, the palate a bit plusher. There was more banana going on here than the other Hirtzberger gruners and the alcohol seemed to creep into the palate the most here, too. If this had a bit more acidity, I would have enjoyed it more. (86 pts.)
2009 Franz Hirtzberger Weissburgunder Beerenauslese - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau, Spitz Sappy and rich fruit. Really nice depth and richness to the apricots, peaches, and mangos. The acidity was nice and turned the fruit crystalline in nature. Really nice stuff. (92 pts.)
2009 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Beerenauslese - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau Had a bit more polish to it when drank alongside the Weissburgunder Beerenauslese. The apricot fruit was very dense in flavor, but felt rather airy. Great acidity to the finish was tingly and refreshing. A great wine. (93 pts.)