This is awesome stuff. Fully realizing I needed to try some quality Gruner Veltliner because I had no idea what it actually tastes like and it is bound to come up on an exam, I went to purchase some recently.
Gruner Veltliner, or ‘Gru-Ve’ as pronounciation-challenged English speakers often refer to it, is a white variety that is Austria’s go-to vine and wine. About 2/3rds of Austria’s varieties are white and Gruner Veltliner comprises about 30% of all plantings – and even more, 2/3rds, of those planted in the NE Neiderosterrich region.
It’s the offspring of Traminer and St. Georgen, has average ripening and is quite vigorous if not managed appropriately. It grows well in loess soils and enjoys a wet environment.
Austrians make all levels of Pradikat wines with it from dry and still Spatlese to the full sweet Trockenbeerenauslese. Much of the lower end wines are enjoyed at the Heurige Inns located in and around Vienna.
Most Gruner Veltliners never see oak and instead are vinified in stainless steel. When their yields are well-managed, their spicy, pickle-like and limey character shows through (and no, that was not a slag against my English friends).
In addition to Austria, Gru-Ve is planted in the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Central Otago Valley on New Zealand’s South Island (of all places).
The Rabl is clear and bright, pale gold and has legs. On the nose it’s clean and youthful with medium plus intensity, aromas of wet pebbles, wet wool, citrus, nectarine, a little dry herb and black pepper.
The palate is dry with high acidity, medium plus body and medium plus alcohol. The medium plus intensity has flavours including cracked pepper and bergamot lime with lemon balm, lemon grass and gherkin juice. There is a softly rounded peach character that adds lovely mouthfeel.
With its long and lingering, peppery finish, this wine is WSET ‘Very Good’. Its high acidity, concentrated fruit and creamy mouthfeel make it a characterful and excellent example of Gru-Ve. Drink now or hold for 5 years.