Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gruner Vetliner, a rare varietal

     Last month I has the decided pleasure of tasting some brilliant Gruner Vetliner from Fred Loimer (the undisputed king of GV in Lower Austria ). The tasting was hosted by and Terrarosa Imports at the visually stunning LIFT restaurant ( )in Coal Harbor (Vancouver), BC. My apologies to all concerned for not getting this blog out sooner - summer vacations have a way of turning even the most dedicated blogger into even more of a hedonist then usual.

     I have to admit to being somewhat nervous when I approached... after all, LIFT is a posh sort of place and I just a lowly blogger (I counted 2 Lamborghini's within a half block) and Gruner Vetliner is not a varietal I am familiar with. But the staff at LIFT were incredibly gracious and Fred Loimer turned out to be not only a gentleman, but truly generous with his time and information. We were given the entire upper deck that looks out over Coal Harbor and North Vancouver, and in between dazzling sips of wine were treated to sushi & canapes. Perhaps it can be said that wine bloggers don't make very good money, but the perks? The perks of this business are truly delightful.

2009 Gruner Vetliner "Kamptal" $28
  • nose is moderate+ notes of floral such as cherry blossoms and chrysanthemum
  • moderate+ crisp green apple acids hitting the palate immediately (in a good way) with tangerine zest & minerality close behind and a long, limey - terroir finish
  • wonderful summer wine, very good structure and well balanced moderate- to light body, easy wine to pair with summer foods especially white fish (halibut, swordfish, red snapper)
2006 "Speigel" Gruner Vetliner
  • moderate+ intense nose filled with grass, wet hay, damp clay and oak
  • fully intense citrus acids with a long finish of currants and all notes from the nose as well
  • moderate- body, moderate alcohol & an excellent structure. This can pair with seafood or try with your roast turkey in the Autumn!
2006 "Kaferberg" Gruner Vetliner
  • very light nose that needed some coaxing - I would serve only lightly chilled to allow the stonefruit and orange blossom to showcase
  • full bitey acids with a palate full of the limey-mineral terroir and yellow grapefruit
  • as soon as I tasted this I thought of Coquilles-St-Jacques... fresh Qualicum Bay scallops, cream & cheese will off-set these dramatic acids & huge palate full of citrus
2008 "Langenlois Steinmassl" Reisling
  • fully perfumed nose with rich floral notes evoking memories more of muscat  then gewurztraminer; black lilies and orange blossom dominate
  • full acids with the same lime-yellow grapefruit notes that seem to demonstrate this particular terroir
  • please don't drink this yet. Buy yourself 6 bottles and open one every 6 months to watch a thing of great beauty evolve. Moderate body, excellent structure, I found the acids still overpowering and didn't allow for the full palate to showcase as I believe (IMHO) it will in only 12 to 18 months
  • when it comes to fruition (pardon the pun) - try serving with free-range chicken and peach-rhubarb compote.. layer upon layer of flavor. Another food direction? Tea smoked salmon on bannock
2009 "Lois" Gruner Vetliner
  • soft nose created (I imagine) for mid-afternoon decks and sandals... starfruit, cantaloupe & light minerality
  • moderate acids with the palate mimicking the nose impeccably
  • just enough acids to open the palate, this could start a meal or finish an afternoon. Food pairings? Think light! Shrimp salad, some steamed crab dumplings or fish cakes.
2008 "Lenz" Riesling
  • moderate- intense nose of soft cherry blossoms and minerality
  • moderate- acids with the palate, once again, mimicking the nose due to great craftsmanship
  • same thoughts on this wine: sit on the patio, kick back your heels, read a good book and sip the wine. Food pairings? Bergamot smoked duck would be a natural.
2008 Schellman "Gumpoldskirchen" (ain't that a mouthful?!)
  • a blend of 5 white varietals
  • a full- intense nose that carries off rich floral notes from the modest amounts of Muscatel and has a lush, round body from the Chardonnay
  • moderate green apple acids, moderate intense flavors of petrol, grass, orchardfruit (peach, nectarine, apricot) and of course the lime mineral terroir
  • a soft palate, moderate+ body and excellent structure, this wine is drinking incredibly well now and will continue to do so for 2 years or more. Serve with your main course and don't be afraid to match stronger flavors against this wine: my thoughts? grilled dogfish (a BC shark) with a spot-prawn risotto & buttered swiss chard
2007 Reserve Chardonnay
  • soft grassy petrol nose... was elegant at 14C
  • moderate acids with moderate palate of orchardfruit & young kiwis
  • simple, sophisticated. moderate+ body and long, developed structure, this is well balanced and yearns for food to draw more notes from it - I would use grilled foods to emphasize through contrast
2007 Langenlois Pinot Noir
  • let me start by saying that I was completely unfamiliar with Austrian Pinot Noir, and had only German to compare to...
  • a much richer nose then I was expecting; moderate nose of all the usual suspects: cherries, leathery oak, a hint of tobacco
  • moderate acids and moderate tannins, the palate mimicking the nose with great expertise
  • I would say this wine is drinking well now, and will reach it's height quite soon - not made to cellar for more then a few years it drinks like a good Burgundian (if I understand this correctly)
2005 Stienmassl Auslese Riesling
  • decadence in a bottle
  • fully intense nose of plastic and layer  upon layer upon layer of cherries
  • moderate acids give way easily to a rich palate of cherries (in all their forms), meyer lemons & kumquats
  • call me a radical but I would try serving this with Foie Gras au Torchon, grilled breads & a cherry & rhubarb chutney. It may seem unoriginal that I'm suggesting rhubarb yet again - but that tartness will contrast the wine in a most delightful way.
So! So an excellent tasting with a vast profile of Lower Austria's winemaking from Fred Loimer. I was completely and utterly impressed & cannot wait to try more product from this truly skilled craftsman.

Cin-cin ! Slainte!

1 comment:

  1. If you've fallen in-love with Grüner Veltliner, drop a line to Alessia (@YourSommelier). I think you can reach her through, too. :)