Posted on April 11th, 2008
I have to admit to not having heard of Grüner Veltliner until about twelve months ago. So, when my brother gave me one with Laurenz V. on the label, I started to enjoy it before it was even open.
Was this Grüner Veltliner really charming?
Yes it was. With all its zippy, fresh, crispness but with more going on than a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. Love it.
A bit about Grüner Veltliner
Grüner Veltliner is indigenous to Austria and makes up about a third of Austria’s entire wine production.
Austria accounts for a mere 1% of the world’s wine production and the laws there are quite strict.
According to the Wikipedia entry, it took Lenz Moser’s Hochkultur system of vine training (a trellising system) to really get the best out of it (Lenz Moser was one of the family that produces Laurenz V).
From one of the world’s leading wine writers, Jancis Robinson, come a story about how Grüner Veltliner wines have beaten world-class Chardonnays in a blind tasting. Here’s the top ten from the tasting:
- 1990 Grüner Veltliner “Vinothekfüllung” Smaragd, Knoll, Austria
- 1997 Grüner Veltliner “Ried Lamm”, Bründlmayer, Austria
- 1997 Chardonnay Tiglat, Velich, Austria 17.67
- 1990 Grüner Veltliner Steinriegl Smaragd, Prager, Austria
- 1998 Byron Chardonnay, Nielson Vineyards, Mondavi, California
- 2000 Grüner Veltliner Exceptionell, Freie Weingärtner Wachau, Austria
- 1999 Grüner Veltliner Spiegel Alte Reben, Loimer, Austria
- 1996 Kistler, Dutton Ranch, California
- 1999 Chardonnay 100 per cent Barrique, Mulderbosch, South Africa
- 1990 Chardonnay, Bründlmayer, Austria
In another tasting organised by Swede, Jan Paulson, which Jancis Robinson profiles on her site, the results are very similar. Jancis quotes Jan Paulson’s conclusions:
The grape Grüner Veltliner can produce wine of world class quality and any serious wine lover who does not know these gems should be buying some as soon as possible while the prices still are as low as they are
Where is this Charming Grüner Veltliner from in Austria?
This one is from Kamptal, 60km west of Vienna where a cool climate allows grapes to develop their flavours slowly. Two thirds of the vines are over 30 years old, which means their yields are lower (less grapes per plant) than younger vines, meaning greater concentration of flavour.
More on Laurenz V. wines
Laurenz V. only produces wine from Grüner Veltliner and, according to the Laurenz V website, in “Hunting for White Wine Lovers”, is trying to “build Gruner into a citizen of the fine wine world.”
Thirsty for more on Grüner Veltliner?
- More recently on sourgrapes.ie, a Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner
- Laurenz V. Charming Grüner Veltliner
- Laurenz V, Cheat Sheet (PDF) – facts on Grüner Veltliner and Austrian wine
- Wikipedia entry on Grüner Veltliner
- Jancis Robinson: Chardonnay v Grüner Veltliner, a knockout contest
- Grüner Veltliner – distinctly groovy grape