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The Grüner Veltliner Grape


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About Grüner Veltliner

(Synonyms: Grauer Veltliner, Grün Muskateller, Veltliner, Veltliner Grau, Veltliner Grün, Veltlinske Zelené, Veltlínské Zelené, Weissgipfler, Zeleni Vetinec, Zöld Veltelini)

Background

Map showing Austria & the Czech Republic

Grüner Veltliner is a white-wine grape probably originating in Austria, which remains its primary home, though it is also much grown today in both halves of the former Czechoslovakia: Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

(Note on pronunciation: it is GRU-ner felt-LEEN-er; a lot of people pronounce that second word with the wrong syllable emphasised.)

Though an ancient grape, it has only achieved note in modern times, having previously been thought of as a minor and undistinguished grape. Even now, some Grüner Veltliner is still grown and vinified as jug wine. Even better-quality GV tends to be somewhat shy in its youth, and well-made GV improves with bottle age. Descriptions of GV wines are therefore more or less all over the map.

The few common descriptive threads are light citrus-y fruit and a white-pepper overtone; beyond those, one variously hears of celery, lentils, and spice. Better samples, when aged, take on body and weight, and are often compared with white Burgundies (mostly meaning Chardonnay). Like Chardonnay, GV can be made unoaked (as with Chablis), in which case it tends also to show minerality, or quite oaky, in which case it tends to the “fat” quality Chardonnays so treated tend to exhibit. In a sense, then, Grüner Veltliner can be considered more than one wine type (again, as with Chardonnay).

There seems to be quite a hierarchy of GV wines, with a lot of emphasis on the exact place of origin. (It has been remarked that “Life is too short to read a German wine label”, and Austrian wine labels [archived page] are said to be worse; You Have Been Warned.) There is a good general discussion of GV types on the Wine Monger site [archived page], which we recommend (as well as their article, linked above, on Austrian wine classification); we summarize its key points below:

Factoid: the now-common name Grüner Veltliner was only established as the norm in the 1930s. Indeed, its explosive popularity (already seen by some as now fading) dates only to a famous tasting session in 2002, wherein some specimens outranked some top white Burgundies. Whether the grape is has enduringly good qualities or is (or was) a fad remains to be seen.

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Some Descriptions of Grüner Veltliner Wines

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Some Grüner Veltliners to Try

(About this list.)

Fred Loimer Grüner Veltliner
(Do not confuse this with their basic “Lois” bottling, or with their other more upscale renditions.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Schloss Gobelsburg “Gobelsburger” Grüner Veltliner

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Nigl Kremser “Freiheit” Grüner Veltliner

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Hirsch “Veltliner Nr. 1” Grüner Veltliner

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bernhard Ott “Am Berg” Grüner Veltliner
(They bottle numerous GVs: make sure you’re looking at the “Am Berg” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is the Prager “Stockkultur” Achleiten Smaragd Grüner Veltliner.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 18 January 2020, at 1:24 am Pacific Time.