#newwinethisweek week 9 – Grüner Veltliner, Austria
The recent Austrian tasting event I attended made this week’s white wine suggestions an easy one… say hello to your new best friend, Grüner Veltliner from Austria.
Grüner Veltliner (pronounced VeltLEEner, not VELTliner) is a majestic wine with its layers of fruit, minerality and spice; there really is something for everyone here. Grüner is so versatile and is great as an aperitif, by itself on a Saturday afternoon or even better, when paired with food. This fragrant wine goes very well with mildly spiced food such as Thai or Vietnamese, and is also a great partner for lighter pork and chicken dishes. My other recent discovery was how well Grüner matched with Gorwydd Caerphilly; the cheese really brought out the citrus notes and the white pepper finish balanced beautifully with the Caerphilly’s acidic bite.
Grüner has a wonderful vein of acidity that just pops in your mouth with primary fruit flavours of lime, lemon, grapefruit and, as the wine ages, rich and elegant peaches. But there is also a green and herbaceous flavour that is often described as white pepper, or rocket leaves, that gives it a distinctive and delicious finish.
Around 30% of the Austrian vineyard is given over to Grüner, making it by far the most planted grape in the country (the red Zweigelt grape is the next most planted variety at14%). The three regions to look out for are Wachau with its steep slopes and dry wall terracing, Kremstal which is highly regarded for its deep loess soils, and Kamptal with its sunny, south-facing limestone vineyards.
The great news is there is lots of Grüner Veltliner available to UK consumers – and it is a very reliable grape variety – most of what I have tried has been of a very high quality standard.
Let’s start with 2 of my go-to wines from Waitrose:
Domäne Wachau Terraces Grüner Veltliner 2011, Wachau (Waitrose £9.99 – currently on offer at £7.99)
Felsner Grüner Moosburgerin 2012, Kremstal (Waitrose £11.99)
This is one of the very best The Wine Society’s stonking Exhibition range:
The Society’s Exhibition Grüner Veltliner 2012, Kamptal (The Wine Society £11.95)
And don’t forget about the independents – I think I’ll be checking out some high end Grüner this week!
Ebner Ebenauer Gruner Veltliner 2012, Weinviertel (Roberson £12.95)
Ebner Ebenauer ‘Bursting’ Gruner Veltliner 2012, Weinviertel (Roberson £19.95)
Rabl Grüner Veltliner Kaferberg 2010, Kamptal (Wine & The Vine £19.75)
So pick up a bottle and don’t forget to tell us what you think by giving Grüner Veltliner a score out of 10 and leaving your tasting notes in the comments section. Where will Grüner end up on the #newwinethisweek leaderboard?