May 14 2009
SNOB Wine Bar has biweekly tastings centered on a country or region. This week’s was unusual enough that I made sure I had the evening off so I could attend: Austria’s Gruner Veltliner. It’s rare to see this wine on a by-the-glass list, let alone at a tasting. I’m happy to say it surprised me; I was expecting something much sweeter and with far less backbone than what I encountered.
Laurenz und Sophie Singing Gruner Veltliner 2007: Delicious floral nose with notes of honey, ginger and white peach. Honey carries through on the tongue, but it’s tempered by a hint of acidity that fades to warmth. White pepper on the midpalate; flavors of pure citrus and Granny Smith apples melt into honeysuckle. Pleasing and well-balanced with a solid mineral undertone.
Leth Gruner Veltliner Reserve Steinagrund 2007: Nose of honeyed fruit, candied lemons. Zesty citrus on palate, subtle touch of honey on the back end. Herbal notes of lemon verbena and sage; minerally backbone.
Kalmuck Gruner Veltliner Wachau 2007: Oily minerals on the nose, but the taste is pure lemon zest, with notes of black pepper, ginger and chalk. Racy at first, the wine melts into a smooth warmth on the tongue. This one was my favorite by a nose.