Exploring the pride of Austria with Snooth and Aldo Sohm at the People’s Voice Awards Wine Writers Seminar.
We’ve long been fans of Austrian Wine here at The Reverse Wine Snob, going so far as to do a whole series of reviews featuring many of the varieties indigenous to Austria, entitled “Awesome Austrians“. And while Austria produces tons of great wine, it’s claim to fame/pride and joy/national treasure/crown jewel/magnum opus is Gruner Veltliner. And so it was that we sat down in NYC withSnooth and the award winning sommelier Aldo Sohm for a fascinating exploration of the different styles of Gruner Veltliner.
This is the fourth article from our sponsored media trip to New York with Snooth. Other installments to date include:
- Oregon Wine – Pinot Noir and Much Much More Plus the 2012 Willamette Valley Vineyard Whole Cluster Pinot Noir
- Reveling in the Wine of Ribera Del Duero Plus 3 Top Value Picks From This Region
- Excellent Italian Whites – Exploring the White Wines of Italy Including Two Bulk Buy Selections!
Gruner Veltliner, an offspring of the Traminer and St. Georgen grapes, makes up 29% of the vineyard acreage in Austria. Interestingly, St. Georgen was a previously unknown grape variety that was found as a single vine in an overgrown pasture that hadn’t been used as a vineyard in over 100 years. The link to Gruner was only able to be determined through DNA analysis. (Sounds like a new spin-off of CSI!)
Austria, with a latitude between Champagne and Burgundy, abundant mountains, and lots of rocky soils (Aldo even showed off his rock collection) is a prime area for growing grapes. The range of soil types and growing conditions also creates a fascinating study into just how different one grape can express itself. The Gruner Veltliners we tasted possessed a range of flavors from citrus to tropical to mineral to nutty to spicy, even one I noted as a “Dill Lover’s Delight”.
And while all of the wine at this tasting was particularly good, the standout for me was the spectacular 2011 Stadlmann Gruner Veltliner, which is a 100% Gruner Veltliner from Thermenregion, Austria. (Ironically this is not an area particularly well known for Gruner.) It has an SRP of $16 and is available for as low as $14. Sample submitted for review.
From the bottle:
“Since 1780, the Stadlmann family has been producing wines made from the indigenous grapes of Austria’s Thermenregion. Today, Johann Stadlmann VII continues this tradition, creating expressive and dynamic wines. “Gruner Veltliner”, the most popular signature varietal of Austria, is a fresh yet well structured wine, with aromas of green apple and lime. This wine is perfect with fresh salads, seafood, poultry and light meat dishes.
The 2011 Stadlmann Gruner Veltliner begins with an enticing aroma of green apple, tropical fruit and a little peach as well as white pepper and some mineral notes. The wine tastes bright, clean and delicious with a fabulous, refreshing mouthfeel that simply makes your mouth come alive. You’ll also find great acidity and tart fruit (green apple, pear and lime) along with slightly salty minerals and a little white pepper and other spice. It ends with wonderful length — lime soaked mineral notes linger in your mouth for a long time. One of the few white wines I’ve been tempted to buy by the case, this is truly an unforgettable wine.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.