Home Wine Regions Austrian Wine Getting Down with Gruner Veltliner

I’ve been meaning to write up this review for several weeks as I actually tasted these wines two months ago, but other things kept coming up.  Shame on me.  But getting this posted late is better than not at all.

These are all grüner veltliner from Austria, a wine I acquired an appreciation for when I visited Austria in 2010.  For those who haven’t had grüner (as it’s called for short), it’s food-friendly white wine known for it’s high acidity and mineral characteristics.  The aroma of pepper is also a common “tell” for a grüner.

It’s actually a really good salad wine.  Grüner has a reputation for going well with vegetables, including the ever-problematic-pairing-vegetable asparagus.  I love asparagus, so it’s good to know that I can always trust a grüner to go well with it.  I’m also an advocate of multiple wine pairings with a meal.  For example, have a grüner veltliner with your salad and a red Cotes du Rhone with your entree.  I know it can get expensive to open a couple bottles, but give it a try for a special occasion when you have friends over.

All of these wines are at the upper end of our typical $20 price limit — and a couple are over that limit.  But they’re all good.  There’s not one in this batch that I’d turn down.

Leth Steinagrund Gruner Veltliner

Leth Steinagrund Grüner Veltliner 2010

This gruner comes from Wagram, which is a good region to find value-based grüner veltliner.  There are some tasty wines to come from this region, but it’s not considered a top tier region — in other words, it doesn’t have “DAC” status.  However it borders some of the top DAC regions and takes advantage of microclimates from the Danube river, which runs through the middle of the region.

The nose is a little tight on this wine, but it does show some lime aromas.  The palate is also somewhat subtle, but it does have a nice peach flavor to it, as well as some citrus notes.  The acidity is sufficient.  And the finish is medium in length.  It’s a decent, although somewhat simple Gruner.

Wine: Leth Steinagrund
Variety: Grüner veltliner
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 12.5%
Rating: 84
Price: $18.00
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Huber Traisental Gruner Veltliner

Huber Traisental Grüner Veltliner 2010

This one comes from a little further upriver in the Traisental DAC.  Actually, the Danube only hits the top edge of this region, with the majority of it residing south of the river.

The nose on this wine is lovely, with pepper and lime aromatics.  It smells refreshing.  Although some might argue that is smells more like a sauvignon blanc than a gruner veltliner. The palate has excellent acidity, with pear, apple and light citrus flavors.  It has a touch of sweetness, which is most noticeable on the finish.  Speaking of the finish, it’s plenty long and very enjoyable.  This is a nice wine for the price.

Wine: Huber Traisental
Variety: Grüner veltliner
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 12%
Rating: 86
Price: $18.00
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Pfaffl Haidviertal Gruner Veltliner

Pfaffl Haidviertel Grüner Veltliner 2010

Now we venture further north in Austria to the Weinviertal DAC, which is the largest wine region in Austria running from the north of the Danube river up to the Czech border in the north and the Slovakian border to the east.

There is definitely some of the classic pepper aromas on the nose, along with other floral notes and a hint of tropical fruit.  The palate has sufficient acidity with crisp apple and mineral flavors with a touch of spice on the mid palate.  The finish brings in a bit more mineral and a bit of peach.

Wine: Pfaffl Haidviertel
Variety: Grüner veltliner
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 12%
Rating: 86
Price: $22.00
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Turk Kremser Weinberge

Türk Kremser Weinberge Grüner Veltliner 2009

Türk is from the Kremstal DAC, which is a relatively small region, just west of Traisental with the Danube dividing the region in half.  In addition to creating some awesome gruner here, the town of Krems, at the center of the region, is just lovely.

This wine shows spice and herbs on the nose, with pepper (of course) being among those.  The palate has good concentration, with apple, lemon and lime flavors.  The acidity is good.  It shows some good mineral characteristics on the finish.

Wine: Türk Kremser Weinberge
Variety: Grüner veltliner
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 12%
Rating: 87
Price: $20.00
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Laurenz V. Charming Gruner Veltliner

Laurenz V. Charming Grüner Veltliner 2009

Now we’re getting into what I consider top notch territory for gruner.  And this wine gives you just a hint of what’s possible from this region.

The nose on this wine has a strikingly nice balance of spice and fruit, presenting a bouquet of peppered apples and melon.  The palate brings out apple flavors up front, evolving into peach and honeydew melon on the mid-palate and into the finish. The finish also brings a salty mineral characteristic.  The acidity on the palate is good, as is the concentration of flavors.  It also does offer a touch of spice on the palate.  This is a really nice Gruner.

Wine: Laurenz V. Charming Grüner Veltliner 2009
Variety: Grüner veltliner
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 13%
Rating: 90
Price: $25.00
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Disclosure: These wines were received as a sample.

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