Polz, Sauvignon Blanc Ried Theresienhohe "Therese"
Polz, Sauvignon Blanc Ried Theresienhohe "Therese"

Polz, Sauvignon Blanc Ried Theresienhohe "Therese"

Südsteiermark, Austria 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$35.00

Polz, Sauvignon Blanc Ried Theresienhohe "Therese"

Ask almost any sommelier or wine professional to name their top three regions for Sauvignon Blanc and we’d put up good money that none would say Styria, let alone Austria. And yet here we are with a discovery from that beautiful, unheralded region. Why? We taste Sauvignon from Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Bordeaux, New Zealand, and California all the time, but the wine that most captured our hearts recently is a single vineyard tour de force from top Styrian producer Polz. With a bevy of breathtaking aromatics that are both classically correct and yet terroir specific, this gorgeous, crackling white wine is so captivating it is almost impossible to put your glass down. Pound-for-pound, this is the best in its global class; we were entranced and know you will be too. Grab a bunch!

Today’s offer is a discovery in every sense of the word. First, we have to travel to Styria, in southeastern Austria, where the southern border is Slovenia and Hungary is due east. It’s become a popular destination for tourists thanks to its beautiful Alpine vistas, outdoor recreation, well-preserved castles, and its ancient wine culture. However, most Styrian wine is consumed in Austria and the surrounding European countries, and is primarily known as solid, inexpensive wine made with mostly accessible international varieties. But that is changing, with exports gaining steam, and without question one of the leaders committed to putting Styrian wine in the global spotlight is Weingut Polz.

Polz was founded over a century ago, in 1912 (the year the Titanic sank), and is now run by fourth-generation brothers Erich and Christoph. For decades, the family farm was exactly that, a multi-purpose farm, with viticulture being but one of many endeavors. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that Erich and Christoph’s father, Erich Senior, attended a monumental Bordeaux tasting and decided to turn the estate’s full attention to growing grapes and making wine. Today they farm about 100 hectares of estate vines, making them one of the larger independent, family-owned wineries in Südsteiermark (Southern Styria). But this is no industrial operation. Farming is fully sustainable, with many organic practices, and all the fruit is hand-harvested. Erich oversees all the vineyard operations as well as the general management of the winery. Christoph is in the cellar, making and perfecting the many dozens of cuvées that bear the Polz label.

Indeed, the Polz family makes a dizzying array of wines, but their most prized offerings come from their four single vineyards, and are bottled as reserve “crus.” Of those four vineyards, “Ried Theresienhohe” is the coolest and most overtly mineral-driven. Christoph loves the energy of this vineyard and seeks to capture that electric verve in the Sauvignon Blanc, as such it is the only SB cru that is fermented and aged entirely in steel tanks. After spontaneous fermentation, the wine is aged on the lees for nine months before bottling. The rocky, schist-strewn, alluvial soils provide gobs of minerality and enticing aromatics. 

A wonderful companion to any of your favorite seafood dishes, I would serve it chilled at about 45 degrees, in an all-purpose glass or Burgundy bowl. You’ll immediately notice notes of white flowers, wild grass, alpine meadows, stone fruits, peach skin, gooseberry, lemon zest, and green peppercorn. With a texture that is both silky and zippy, and long, laser-like finish, the cuvée “Therese” might remind you of single-vineyard wines from Sancerre greats like Lucien Crochet, Vacheron, or Boulay, but the distinct, Styrian terroir shines through too. There is really no other Sauvignon quite like it. Oh, and it happens to be about half the price of those “competitors,” but there’s not much so don’t wait to pounce!

Polz, Sauvignon Blanc Ried Theresienhohe "Therese"

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