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2010 Huber Grüner Veltliner DAC**
10huberGV.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Traisental, Austria $15 Private Event 5/2/11
A pale, straw colored wine with an expressive nose that features green fruit, grass, pepper and herbs with hints of tropical fruit. The palate was light-bodied with well-balanced, yet still refreshing acidity and lovely, expressive flavors of fresh herbs, pepper, apple, lime, grass and mango on the medium length, creamy finish. Sourced from vines ranging in age from 5-80 years by winemaker Markus Huber (who's family has been in the business for 200 years) and aged in stainless steel on its lees for 3 months. Elegent and well-integrated this was a wine I could drink all day long. Very Good QPR. Just entering the marketplace this bottle has several years to go and is a nice example of the varietal if you looking to give it a go. This is the estate's entry level bottling and personally I enojyed it better than their single vineyard wine. (12.0% abv)

2009 Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner Käferberg DAC****
09BrundlmayerGVKaferberg.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Kamptal, Austria $60 Private Event 5/2/11
This is the top of the line GV coming from this estate and you can tell immediately by the intense and enticing nose filled with spice, herbs, citrus, tropical and green fruit that shows through layer after layer. The water-white, straw color belies the complexity of the palate which is both round and fruity, yet savory and refreshing with flavors of ripe apple, mango, lemon creme, pineapple with herbs, minerals and pepper filling out the palate and lingering along with the tropical fruits on the seriously long finish. It was one taste I didn't pour out. This is single vineyard fruit that's grown in sandy clay that makes the vines work hard to survive. The effects of their struggle come through in the glass. Fermented in 2-3 year-old, 300-liter Austrian oak casks and further aged after racking in 2-3 year old oaks casks. Coming in at 13.5% abv, it has a much softer and more approachable mouthfeel than most basic Gruners which see no oak treatment. Was one of my favorites of the tasting. Then I discovered how much it cost. I now understand why. I don't spend that much on any bottle, but if I was going to spend that kind of cash on a white wine, this one would be at the top of my list.

2009 Huber Grüner Veltliner Obere Steingen DAC**
10huberGV.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Traisental, Austria $23 Vendome 5/6/11
Water white, with a tinge of straw color, with a moderately expressive nose that came alive a bit more once it warmed up. Mostly aromas of green fruit, stone, lemon/lime with a hint of herbs and melon. The palate was light-bodied with fairly high acidity which was more integrated with food. The flavors mirrored the nose with additional notes of white pepper and apple on the medium length finish. The grapes come from 25-80 year old vines and the wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel with 3 moonths contact at its lees. While not overly complex, this was a well-constucted wine that showed better as it opened, leaning more to the savory/herbal side of the white wine spectrum though not in an overbearing way. Good QPR though not a wine I'm going to remember. Due to the acidity, this is still quite refreshing and has at least another year or two of life left in the bottle, which might help the flavors and acidity integrate a bit more. (12.5% abv)

2009 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug***
nikolaihofGV.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Wachau, Austria $30 Private Event 5/2/11
A pale, lemon-colored wine with an aromatic nose of smoke, stone fruit, apple, minerals and spice. The palate is light-medium bodied with a creamy texture (from aging on the lees) while still retaining a well-balanced and refreshing acidity. The flavors are intense, yet elegant with pear, apple, peach and notes of honey integrated with hints of minerals and yeast. This estate is the oldest running winery in Austria and is currently farmed both organically and biodynamically by the Saahs family. The round and ripe mouthfeel makes this taste much lusher than its 11.5% abv leads you to believe. This wine was right up my alley, but I'm sure it would be considered to fruity for some and not spicy/herbaceous enough for hard core GV lovers. At the very least it is high quality stuff and I think worth its price when compared to other whites in this range.

2009 Türk Grüner Veltliner Frechau***
09TurkGVFrechau.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Kremstal, Austria $30 Private Event 5/2/11
A pale, lemon-colored wine with a pronounced nose of ripe green and stone fruit, minerals, spice, flowers and herbs. The palate was round and ripe with flavors of yellow apple, pear, peach, honey, herbs, pepper and stone on the lush and lingering finish. More full-bodied than their other bottlings this wine comes from their top-of-the-line vineyard from 45-year-old-vines. The palate is intense yet, never flabby despite its 14% abv and some residual sugar (4.5g), which is nicely countered by the wine's medium acidity. Like most of the vineyard designated GVs I tried, this wine was distinct and much more intense than the entry level offerings. If you've only ever had $12 Gruner, I can tell you the bump up is well worth the cash. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the spice and fruit components were perfectly in sync delivering an elegant, expressive experience.

2009 Türk Grüner Veltliner Kremser Sandgrube**
09TurkGVFrechau.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Kremstal, Austria $23 Private Event 5/2/11
A bright, pale straw colored wine with an expressive nose of herbs, green fruit, citrus, minerals and a stong whiff of pepper. The palate is medium-bodied with well-balanced acidity and flavors of apple, lime, minerals, herbs and more pepper on the medium-length finish. The grapes for this wine come from a single vineyard of 45-year-old vines that gives the wine added finesse, body and alcohol (13.5%) than the entry level version. There's also a titch of residual sugar, but for me that, and the aging on the lees, helped balance out the bright acidity. A distinctive wine for the price.

2009 Veyder-Malberg Grüner Veltliner Kreutles***
09VeyderMalbergGV.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Wachau, Austria $27 Private Event 5/2/11
A pale, straw-colored wine with an elegant, savory nose of green fruit, citrus, herbs, chalk and a hint of pepper. The palate was light-bodied with medium-acidity and flavors of apple, lime, stone, herbs, spice and a hint of honey on the lingering finish. At 12% abv, this was one of the GVs from the tasting that stood out for me not because of its fruitiness but because of its focus and intensity. Made in a more traditional Gruner style, this winery has only been around since 2008, but Peter Veyder-Malberg has been in the wine business for over 19 years. He rescued his vineyards, which are from 30-50 years old, from certain demolition since they are steeply terraced and require all the work to be done by hand. He is also farming organically using only native wild yeasts for fermentation and with all stainless steel aging. This is only his second vintage and the quality shines through. Grab a bottle if you can find it. The way his reputation is growing I have a feeling they will soon be hard to come by. Still pretty tightly-wound, I would give this another year in the bottle before opening.

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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