With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’ve been turning our efforts to finding the perfect wines to drink with this year’s feast, and the verdict is in: Austrian riesling. Specifically, the 2003 Heiligenstein from Weingut Hirsch, which is currently drinking beautifully paired alongside the flavors of fall.
The grapes for this Heiligenstein single-vineyard wine hail from one of the top white wine producing regions of the country, located west of Vienna in the Kamptal. The vineyard's poor soils produce small grapes with concentrated flavors and give the wine a great deal of minerality. 2003 in particular was a warmer year so the wine is fuller bodied and round, but it still has the bright acidity and minerality of the site that cuts through the richness and lingers on the tongue.
Now twelve years old, it's quite fragrant, with aromas of honeyed apples, petrol, and cloves, and a sip reveals layers of crisp, clean flavors, from stone fruit to stone to spice. This riesling has a lovely sumptuousness about it that complements the decadence of the holiday and accompanies the cooler days. Its texture makes it the perfect foil for roasted vegetables and turkey with gravy, worthy of any Thanksgiving table next week—if you can keep your hands off the bottle for long enough.