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Hirsch Grüner Veltliner "Lamm," Erste Lage '21
If wines reflect the winemaker, Johannes Hirsch’s collection of Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners are full of energy and vitality. In the 1970s, Hannes’s father started organic farming, and in 2006 he was one of the founding members of Respekt—a new biodynamic certification started as an alternative to Demeter, which was then the only certification.
In the vineyard, Hirsch uses biodynamic preparations and follows the lunar cycle for vineyard work. Eighty five percent of his holdings are in the slopes in the villages of Zöbing and Kammern, home to the Heiligenstein and Gaisberg Riesling vineyards as well as Lamm, Grub, Renner and Kammerner Gaisberg for Grüner Veltliner, though he is quick to note that “the grape variety is just a way to transport terroir. One hundred years ago, you might just find the village name on the label or the vineyard and no mention of the variety; it was not so important.” A full two-thirds of his holdings are in classified, Erste Lagen vineyards.
At harvest, a rigorous selection is made in the vineyard, and clean grapes harvested by hand, without botrytis, are placed in small bins. The winery is located in Kammern, a short distance from the vineyards, so the fruit is pressed a very short time after it’s picked. Fermentations are done with ambient yeasts and always without temperature control. Hirsch doesn’t allow malolactic and avoids botrytis with a rigorous selection as he works with longer lees aging, though again, nothing is done by formula.
The wine is made with whole bunch pressing, spontaneous fermentation in a combination of old, large barrels, and stainless steel, and extended lees contact until May.
"The 2021 Kammern Grüner Veltliner Ried Lamm 1ÖTW opens deep, pure and intense on the nose, with saline notes intermingled with white fruit aromas. Playful on the palate, this is a full-bodied, pure, fresh and savory Ried Lamm with lush and elegant fruit and a spectacularly long, finely piquant and saline finish. An impressive wine that is more open and generous than the more reductive Ried Grub. 13% stated alcohol. Screw-cap closure. Tasted in October 2022. 94 Points, The Wine Advocate."
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