Always highly coveted and greatly revered by critics, this very rare case of Jurtschitsch Gruner Veltliner from the Kaferberg Vineyard was special ordered nearly six months ago, and has just arrived. I am told by the importer this is the only case for California.
Weingut Jurtschitsch is one of the most prestigious wineries in Austria. Having previously been run by the three brothers Edwin, Paul and Karl Jurtschitsch, the family-owned winery has now been in the hands of Alwin Jurtschitsch and his wife, Stefanie Hasselbach (of Gunderloch fame in the Rheinhessen) for more than ten years.
Jurtschitsch aims for a classic style of Kamptal wines, but more like an old-style of classic, that was made by their grandparents. This means, emphasizing the cool climate of Austria and making wines with finesse that strike a balance of ripe fruit and fresh acidity.
The Käferberg vineyard overlooks Langenlois and is to Gruner Veltliner what the Heiligenstein vineyard is to Riesling – world famous. The roots of the 62-year-old vines grow deep in a very rocky soil and bring a special saltiness in the wine. It is a sunny vineyard, but also very windy. The character of the wine is always a bit richer without being fat. This wine sees two days of maceration on the skins, followed by two months of slow spontaneous fermentation and ten months of aging on the full lees. The vineyard occupies a warm, sheltered site between 300 and 345 meters above sea level, with a southern and southeastern exposure. The soils are variable, with different underlying bedrock: within a small area one can find crystalline rocks such as amphibolite, gneiss, and mica schist, alternating with much younger clay marl, sands, and rare gravels that were deposited in the ancient Paratethys Sea 16 million years ago.
“Oakmoss, boxwood and yeast on the subtle nose shimmer alongside white pepper and crushed fennel seed. The palate mirrors these notions and pits them against a beautifully textured backdrop of salty, smooth, cooling yeast that is pervaded by zingy lemon freshness. This just ticks so many boxes: elegance, slenderness, savoriness and utter depth.” – 96 points, Wine Enthusiast ANNE KREBIEHL MW (March 2021)