Tasting Group: Austrian Grüner Veltliner



By Kori ~ August 3rd, 2010.

Since we live in Washington State and often drink wines from Washington State, we want to make sure that we continue to hone our knowledge of the entire world of wine and maintain well-rounded palates in order to make us even more objective when we evaluate wines from Washington State. Therefore, we are thoroughly enjoying our Wine Peeps Tasting Group which includes what we think is an excellent peer group of knowledgeable wine lovers to taste, share, and learn more about wine together. Unlike our monthly wine tasting dinners in which the guests rotate, this tasting group includes people who are committed to getting together once a month which we believe benefits all of us. In addition to trying varieties and regions that we do not taste frequently, the other main difference between this group and our wine tasting dinners is that each group member brings a bottle consistent with the month’s theme so no one knows all the wines in the blind tasting.

Last week, we met and explored Austrian Grüner Veltliner. Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s main grape, is a white wine grape variety known for its unique flavor profile that can include leafy greens, arugula, pineapple, and white pepper. It is planted in more than one third of Austria’s vineyards and produces a very food-friendly wine.

Grüner Veltliner gained international recognition in the fall of 2002 when it claimed the top two spots in an anonymous tasting organized by internationally known wine specialists, traders and journalists. The tasting featured top Grüner Veltliners and Chardonnays from three vintages competing against high-ranking white Burgundy wines and other top-quality Chardonnays from Australia and California. According to Jancis Robinson MW, one of the world’s foremost wine writers, the tasting showed that Grüner Veltliner must be taken seriously as a variety.

We tasted seven wines and the consensus favorite was the 2008 Kurt Angerer Kies Grüner Veltliner, followed closely by the 2009 Leth Grüner Veltliner Steinagrund Lagenreserve. The red and white Austrian wine seal, which was present on all seven bottles, is used on all wines at the Qualitätswein (Quality wine) level. If you’ve never had an Austrian Grüner Veltliner or are looking for a food-friendly wine to enjoy with dinner, I encourage you to give Grüner Veltliner a try.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2008 Kurt Angerer Kies Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal DAC, Austria): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Aromatic with leafy greens and pickles on the nose. Tropical and citrus fruits, Granny Smith apple, and white pepper come through on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with racy acidity. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of five)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle, Washington), $19; Available elsewhere, $15 to $17

2009 Leth Grüner Veltliner Steinagrund Lagenreserve (Wagram, Austria): Pale, straw yellow in color. Aromatic with pear and diesel on the nose; pineapple, Granny Smith apple, and white pepper on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Well-balanced with good complexity.
Quality: 4 stars (out of five)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Pete’s Wine Shop – Eastside (Bellevue, Washington), $14; Available elsewhere, $13 to $18

2008 Loimer Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal DAC, Austria): Pale, straw yellow. Nose is a bit tight at first then apple and powdered sugar aromas come through. Flavors of apple, pear, and lemon peel. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: McCarthy & Schiering (Seattle, Washington), $21; Available elsewhere, $11 to $22

2007 Brandl Zobing Pfaffenberg Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal DAC, Austria): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Grassy and leafy aromas and flavors as well as apple and white pepper on the palate. Dry, medium-bodied and crisp with a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $20; Available elsewhere, $23

2008 Fred Loimer Lois Grüner Veltliner (Niederosterreich, Austria): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Aromatic with pineapple and clementines on the nose; more citrus and tropical fruits and a slight vegetal note on the palate. Dry, light-bodied and crisp with a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of five)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: McCarthy & Schiering (Seattle, Washington), $15; Available elsewhere, $10 to $18

2007 Schmid Kremser Weingarten Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal DAC, Austria): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Granny Smith apple and mango on the nose; apple, white pepper, and a slight woodiness on the palate. Dry, light-bodied and lively with a slight effervescence and a long finish. A bit plain.
Quality: 3 stars (out of five)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Pike & Western (Seattle, Washington), $15; Available elsewhere, $10 to $21

2006 Schiefer Grüner Veltliner (Eisenberg DAC, Austria): Pale, golden yellow. Aromas of toasted marshmallows and petrol leads to lime and smoky flavors. Dry, medium-bodied and tart with a bitter, unpleasant finish.
Quality: 2.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Where to buy: Garagiste (Seattle, Washington), $13


Filed under: Austrian Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Gruner Veltliner, Tasting Group, White Wine, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Lee | August 15th, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hello,

    I just learned about your recent event and wanted to tell you about our site, LocalWineEvents(dot)com.

    It’s free to post your food and wine events to LWE, which has over 115,000 subscribers and 1 million page views per month, and we’d love to have them listed!

    Cheers!
    ~ Lee
    LocalWineEvents
    “The World’s Leading Wine Events Calendar”

  2. Kori | August 26th, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Lee,
    I am familiar with your site and will keep it in mind for future events. However, our tasting group meetings are private. Cheers!

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