Posted on June 13th, 2008
I arrived at Enowine for the third open wine gathering a little early on Wednesday evening (more of a write-up to follow).
I got chatting with Hakan from Enowine about the wines in the large air-conditioned glass cabinet at the back of the shop.
I had thought they were all pretty pricey back there, so wouldn’t have attracted my curiosity previously.
Amongst the expensive bottles of Mouton Rothschild, Chambertin and Ornellia, I spotted a Grüner Veltliner from 1983 with no price and quipped something like “if you need to know the price, you can’t afford it”.
However, this was the only one left in the shop, and at €36.50, a rare opportunity to try a 25 year old wine for a very reasonable price so Hakan had it lightly chilled for about an hour while we got on with the rest of the evening.
So how was it?
Golden colour, a lot of honey and tropical fruits, this was really good. As a “spätlese” or “late harvest”, I expected this to be sweet, but it was actually reasonably dry with a decent level of acid still going on in there. Late harvesting gives more time for the grapes to develop a higher level of sugar which can result in a sweeter wine, but not always.
Hakan told me that they may have “dry fermented” it. This means during the fermentation process, as the yeasts turn the sugars into alcohol, they didn’t stop it by cooling it down to leave some residual sugars and sweetness, but rather left the yeast doing its thing to end up with a dry wine.
More about Bründlmayer & Grüner Veltliner
If you visit the Bründlmayer website, you’ll see they are a highly praised producer. From the WSJ, Bill Echiksson said of Gruner Veltliner “Though most often drunk young, the best Austrian white wines age well”.
Other tastings of the 1983 from around the internets
- Still drinking well in a fullish slightly sweet style, but drink up (finewinediary.com 1999).
- Yep, it’s old gruner all right: the yellow fruit has muted into a baked-pineapple tone, the floral aromatics have a suggestion of pressed flowers, but it’s still quite lively. Light sweetness, very flavorful, quite decent (compleatwinegeek.com, 2000)
- Colour: Pale yellow/green, clear rim, flourescent, lots of legs. Nose: Raisins, pungent, waxy, mango, petrol, honeyed citrus fruits, ripe apples. Palate: Medium dry, medium acid, good length, raisins, mango, luscious fruits (monthlyblinders.net 2004 – while tasted at Cabot & Co, IFSC, which is now Enowine)