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Weingut Hiedler, Kamptal

One must take care not to extrapolate grand generalities and lofty principles about a wine estate based on a single vintage, especially one as eccentric as 2020.

What can be said is what’s already been said; there’s a generational transfer at the Hiedlers, and some incidentals are changing while some fundamentals are staying as before. I wrote about it when I reported on the wines last year (under the title Terroir Throws A Party) and even back in my final (2019) catalogue I was already trying to limn the distinctions between the two regimes.

They are small, hardly decisive, yet discernible and fascinating. They show vividly in the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc “Reserve,” which in Dad’s time might have been juicier, more redolent of antiquity, possibly a bit botrytisey, and not the firm, rich but muscular critter we’re tasting now.

Ludwig (Sr.) tended to underrate his Rieslings, and if anything the quality schism between them and the Veltliners has only widened – though again, one must account for the particulars of 2020. The Veltliners were “uneven” this time out, which is to say that some were excellent and others perplexing. The basic (2021) entry-level Löss is the best I’ve ever tasted of that wine, and among the best basic GVs in my experience.

They remain one of a kind in the Kamptal, which I love. They’re still relatively warm and analogue, yet still structured and clear. They still feint toward an umami that reads “sweet” but is not, yet they’re also rather more diffident now, as Ludwig (Jr) likes a more cerebral style – or appears to. They’ve always scratched a deep itch for me, because they’re good in a way none of the neighbor’s wines are good, yet they’re not idiosyncratic, but instead a different angle from which to observe the Classic.

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