Do You Know Austria’s Grape?
When you finally get around to reading this I will be on my way back from a week in Austria …
I hear you asking, “Why would any self-respecting wine writer go to Austria?” And if you are asking that then I suspect you have never tasted, or even heard of, Gruner Veltliner – the national grape of Austria, in the same way that Riesling is the national grape of Germany and Sauvignon Blanc the national grape of New Zealand.
One of the signatures of the Gruner grape is a note of pea pod on the nose and its fresh vibrant acidity.
I will be attending Vie Vinum, Austria’s international wine festival where over “500 wine-growers form all over the world present their top wines”. I’ll also be travelling the countryside tasting more wines from the host country and will have plenty more to report in the coming weeks.
For now, here are a few of my favourite Austrian wines I’ve tried on this side of the Atlantic:
Rabl 2011 Kittmanberg Gruner Veltliner ($14.95)
Pea pod and sweet citrus with a touch of something stony / minerally and there’s even a little melon rind on the finish.
Brundlmayer 2012 Kamptaler Terrassen Gruner Veltliner ($21.95)
The typical pea pod shows up along with some grapefruit as the citrus component all with racy acidity; for the uninitiated it can easy be confused with Sauvignon Blanc.
Larenz V 2012 Friendly Gruner Veltliner ($19.95)
A well named Gruner, this one plays and dances over the tongue with glee along with pea pod, lemon zest and great acidity.