Thursday, March 22, 2012

Exploring Wine: Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria

Loimer, Grüner Veltliner, 2009, $20.99
My rating for this bottle? I would drink the whole thing

I've had this brand once before for Thanksgiving in 2010 and the Riesling was so delicious and memorable that I never forgot the taste nor the label. However, it was a Riesling with an orange label and our wine store did not have Loimer with an orange label. I grabbed the green one but it wasn't until I got home to open it up that I realized it wasn't a Riesling. I had no idea what a Grüner Veltliner was...

Grüner Veltliner is a white-wine grape varietal mainly grown in the Kamptal region of Austria. Kamptal isn't a city but one of the newly formed appelation (system of classification) regions in Austria (formally called Districtus Austria Controllatus or DAC). It has a characteristically pale color with a crispy, slightly spicy, medium-bodied taste. Loimer's website was fantastically helpful in my tasting experience. Check out this fact sheet for the vintage. I liked this one a lot more than any other white I've had. Ever.

This varietal was light in color, smell, and medium in taste but it was by no means un-interesting. It was dry, slightly minerally with touches of faint pear and pineapple. There was a slightly alcoholic, medium finish, meaning my tongue would tingle a bit and the lingering flavors lasted more than a few seconds. Besides the slight alcoholic notes, it was otherwise nicely balanced. It was delicate but had enough structure to stand up to our spicy pork and rice dinner with ease. I didn't taste any spicy notes in the wine, like the fact sheet said, but I will buy some more bottles to look into it further...

It was totally worth spending a little bit over budget for this one (if you recall, the budget is $20 a bottle from the store). If you have red wine lover friends coming over, they might enjoy trying this Grüner for a change of pace. It was not at all sweet. Perhaps it would be perfect with some light cheeses and cured meats in the garden underneath the Cherry Blossoms? Yes, yes it would.

If you are in the mood for something a little different - check out the rest of the wine series here.

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