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grüner veltliner

Put a Hefeabzug in your ear

[nikolaihof hefeabzug]Nikolaihof 2001 Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug (Wachau) — The dangers of pop-and-pour: the first taste, straight out of the neck, portended oxidation and weakness. After fifteen minutes, however, this was singing. Not full-throttle — it no longer has that much gas — but in pure, clear tones. Minerality, fossilized vegetation, plenty of nerve…and, surprise!…a lot of fun to drink. It disappears very, very quickly. (9/16)

Loisium stade

Steininger 2010 Grüner Veltliner Loisium “Reserve” (Kamptal) – Restrained and a bit sweaty, leaving its green-hued, white peppery-fruit somewhat exposed to erosion. Finishes fairly long, but said finish is very linear. Just OK. (8/12)


Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg “Gobelsburger” 2010 Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal) – Eminently pleasant whites and greens, light but with insistence and a measured length. The faintest dusting of whit pepper, perhaps, but mostly this relies on riper forms of straightforward grüneresque fruit, though not the lush lavishness of which the grape is capable when pushed. There’s sufficient acidity for short-term holding, but actual aging is something I probably wouldn’t try except in a purely speculative way. (12/11)

Hasel & Grentel

Eichinger 2006 Hasel Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal) – Just beyond the basic, pepper-and-froth profile of the grüner I keep reading was poured from casks in Austrian bars (I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been in one) into something just a little juicier and creamier, but still edgy. Overall light-bodied, with a refreshing lift to it. Simple, clean fun. (8/11)

Complementary altitude

Nigl 2002 Grüner Veltliner Kremser Freiheit (Kremstal) – Heavily oxidized, undoubtedly due to its closure. There’s some creamy goodness still clinging to the last dregs of life, but mostly this was just trashed by plastic. My fault for holding it without checking under the hood…or the capsule, that is. (8/11)


Gruber “Punkt Genau” Brut (Weinviertel) – Sparkling grüner veltliner. Not, I should note, overwhelmingly “grüvee” despite the varietal purity, but more of a clean, crisp, straightforward sparkler in the white-green herbed fruit realm. Which, I guess, is sorta grüneresque, but if you’d told me it was sylvaner, or verdicchio, or anything else that can two-step into that realm, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Impose no demands on it, and it will impose none on you. (7/11)


Anton Bauer 2009 Grüner Veltliner Rosenberg (Donauland) – Open, but it’s a small opening, spreading tiny white petals to show the (nicely) vegetal greenness within. There’s just a touch of the lurid to the aroma, but it’s a luridness that exists mostly in a nearby room, rather than right in front of the taster. Simple, nice, not really more than that. (2/11)

Ina Kirchengarten

Bründlmayer 1979 Grüner Veltliner Kirchengarten (Kamptal) – Powerfully fizzy, so much so that were there any other sign I’d worry that this was refermenting in the bottle. As it is, there’s so much pétillance that the table discussion is over to what extent this was a deliberate winemaking choice; a little early prickle isn’t unexpected from this house, but at this age the outright froth is a little shocking. So what else? Celery, still, but fossilizing into a mineral form. Salt, kelp-infused. A brightness, as well, but the light rests on decaying bones…there’s no actual weakness yet evident, but there’s a certain trembling that indicates that the wine may begin to corrode fairly soon. This – grüner of an age I very, very rarely encounter – is an absolute thrill to drink, though I admit part of the thrill is the identity, rather than just the organoleptics. (11/10)

Come to an Alte

[logo]Nigl 1996 Grüner Veltliner “Alte Reben” (Kremstal) – I don’t know if this is fully developed, but it’s drinking awfully well at the moment. Celery dust. The wine’s ripe but precise, with rocks and sweat more dominant than any sensation of fruit. Finishes long, with pepper in both powdered and seeded form. Swirls and evades as much as it envelops. Really quite delicious. (1/10)