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From a geological point of view the Zöbinger Heiligenstein is not only the oldest but probably also the most interesting site of our estate. About 20 % of our Heiligenstein vineyards are trained in a Lyra trellis system. The vine bifurcates in a way that the branches seem to reach to the heavens like sun-worshippers. This method doubles canopy exposure and favors aeration which improves photosynthesis and prevents dreaded fungus diseases.
Vineyard (=Ried): Zöbinger Heiligenstein
Size: 36.7 ha
Elevation: 230 – 345 m
Inclination: 13 °
Orientation: South to South-West
Soil: 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 variety: Riesling
Harvest yield: 2,500 l / ha
Alcohol content: 13%
Bottle closure type: Natural cork
Maturation: We ferment the must in stainless steel at a temperature of 15 to 20° Celsius. After fermentation the wine was partly racked into big wooden casks (2.500 liters) to mature for a short period on the fine yeast.
Food pairing recommendation: Austrian cuisine, well-seasoned fish and white meat, Asian dishes, duck, exotic cuisine etc.
Tasting notes: Brilliant from the beginning - exotic fruit fireworks led by lime and vineyard peach, and this time even with a cool touch. Tremendous freshness and radiance even in this embryonic state. In all its abundance, the wine is defined especially by its fine, focused style and very bright fruit nuances; such finesse. A continuous stream of new characteristics rise to the surface, yet the wine remains the classic Heiligensteiner that you know and appreciate. The sweet fruit play holds right through the long finish. Great potential. – Viktor Siegl
95/100 FALSTAFF WEINGUIDE 2017/2018
93-95/100 ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE 08/17
The 2016 vintage: When flowering began on June 10th, it signalled that 2016 was one of the earliest - though not extremely early - vintages, which indeed was very promising; we had expected wines that were mature, but not heavy, and were looking forward to having the entire spectrum, from light and fresh sparkling and Grüner Veltliner wines, to outstanding, late harvest Reserve quality wines.
After a relatively damp spring, the summer proved rainy as well. It was only during the last week of August that a sunny, stable weather period began, allowing for a wonderful development of ripeness.
A very sunny and warm September was followed in early October by a cooler period with alternating dry and wet phases. The entire harvest was carried out in a highly selective way: only hand-picked and hand-sorted grapes (excuding those that were good for eating) were allowed in our wine press and used for the wines.
At the beginning of November, the last grapes from the Steinmassel, Lamm, Spiegel, Heiligenstein and other vineyards were harvested with excellent quality. On January 6th, we were able to complete the vintage 2016 (+17! ) with two Eiswein (ice wine) harvests – Riesling and Muskateller. Due to changing weather conditions in the spring and summer, a lot of time and work was invested in the vineyards, which is why maximum grape quality was achieved. The wines of the vintage are characterized by very direct, linear fruit with grip and incredible freshness and vibrancy. With good cellar storage, we expect this vintage to have excellent ageing potential !
Date of harvest: October 25–26, 2016