Grapes Galore!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wines of Austria.

I’ve been adding grapes to my Double Century Club application recently.  This was a totally new grape for us. While I’m quite familiar with and very much enjoy Gruner Veltliner, I’d not previously gotten around to trying Roter Veltliner. I think this makes grape number 139 for us. It’s getting harder and harder to come across new grapes without individually hunting them down from internet sources!  The wine for the night was the 2009 Leth Roter Veltliner. It has a screw cap, clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $17ish.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.)  I was surprised at how close, but different this grape was from Gruner Veltliner.

2.) To me the Roter Veltliner actually had a little more going on than regular Gruner, and I dug that.

3.) From a quick search of the internet, I only see a couple different producers for this grape that are imported to the US.

4.) This is definitely worth a try, and would be a crisp, clean wine to enjoy on a warm day.

On the nose I found white pepper, lemon, apple, dried herbs, honey, and exotic fruit. In the mouth I got stones, lemon, pear, apple, quince, and a lick of orange citrus on the finish. Overall I found that it had very crisp, clean fruit flavors and a nice tartness. I definitely enjoyed adding this to my list of grapes I’ve tried and would be excited to try it again.





Grooner Gruner

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from F. Wildman.

Lots of wines that are fun to say in recent days around here. GROOOOOOOOOONNNNER. And lots of Gruner! Told you I was revisiting my liaison with Gruner this spring. I think I’m out now though. I’ll need to go peruse the local shops and see if they’ve got anything new and interesting. I’m still having trouble finding much Gruner on local shelves. The 2009 Grooner Gruner Veltliner (still giggling at the name here) was everything I like about Gruner all in one bottle. and all for as little as $7 online, with a screw cap.

On the nose I got spice, jasmine, lemon, pear, and white pepper. The pear and white pepper just drew me into this glass of wine. In the mouth I got more pear, lime, tropical fruits, and herbs. The fruit showed fresh and the wine displayed excellent acidity. At this price point, the Grooner is a total winner in my book.

Singing Gruner

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Folio Winemakers

We all know I had a love affair last spring with Gruner Veltliner. I’m gearing up to repeat that liaison this spring.  I just find Gruner to be so light and sprightly and perfect for the spring. I love it. I especially love the Laurenz V. Gruners from Folio Winemakers. I’ve written about them several times, and here we have the newest version of the Laurenz and Sophia Gruner, the 2009 Singing Gruener Veltliner.  It has a screw cap closure, retails for around $16, and the bottle got recycled before I could record the alcohol content.

On the nose I found pear, pineapple, honeysuckle, flowers, tangerine, and jasmine. I wrote in my notes that it smells like the tropics. In the mouth I got tons of pineapple, pear, white pepper, and a spicy note. The wine overall had a very plush mouthfeel.

Still Charming

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Folio Winemakers.

I reviewed this same wine a year and a half ago. I somehow ended up with a second sample of the same vintage, but I’m not complaining. It’s a great wine and I’m happy to taste it again. The wine in question? The 2006 Charming Laurenz V. Gruner Veltliner. Normally I wouldn’t review the same wine again, but at times I enjoy seeing if my notes track with my previous review. The notes are pretty close, though lacking the green bean I found last time. The wine clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume, has a screw cap, and retails for $24.99.

On the nose I found white pepper, lemon, stone, lemon zest, tropical notes, green apple, and white peach. In the mouth I got green apple, lemon zest, white pepper, peach, pineapple, and tropical notes. I found the fruit to be clean and crisp. I really enjoy this wine, and as always like Gruner Veltliner very much.

Gruner Gruner Everywhere

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wines of Austria

I’m having a sort of affair with Gruner Veltliner this year.  I find it charming, generally interesting, and different from any other white I’ve encountered.  Plus, it works with so many different kinds of foods that it’s really versatile.  Last night we tried the 2008 Fritsch Gruner Veltliner Steinberg.  It had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $15.

On the nose of the wine I got white pepper, pepper, lemon, flowers, and exotic fruit.  In the mouth the fruit seemed more citrusy than on the nose, with spice, grapefruit, salt, and a slight steely/tinned fruit flavor.  I found the wine to be straight forward and easy to drink, but less complex than other Gruners I’ve had this year. I think I’d like to see this one closer to the $10 price point to feel that it had a good QPR.

I Dream of Gruner

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wines of Austria.

I unabashedly love Gruner Veltliner. It’s fun, easy to drink, generally easy on my wallet, and tastes pretty darn good to me. I also think it’s perfect with Thanksgiving dinner (oh my, yes, I’m already thinking ahead for Thanksgiving wines!) with great acidity it stands up nicely to the mish mosh of foods. Last night we tried the 2008 Rotes Haus Gruner Veltliner. It had a real cork closure, retails for around $20, and clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found white flowers, honey notes, peaches, and banana notes. Aside from the banana, it reminded me quite strongly of Riesling. In the mouth I got peaches, honey notes, a gravelly/stone streak, and citrus zest on the finish. The wine had great acidity and tasted crisp and fresh to me. I thought the flavors and texture melded well to make a lovely, refreshing wine. I’d definitely add it to the Thanksgiving menu.

Gruner Kick

Like I said earlier this week, I was inspired by the GruV Olympics to go out and fetch some Gruner of my own. My only problem is that I normally only find one or two bottles in any given wine shop and often one of those bottles is a 1.5L bottle that I don’t want to drink. So I was delighted to find that Unwined in Alexandria actually had a pretty good selection of Gruner and I snagged a few different bottles to try. We sipped on the 2008 Tegernseerhof  T 26 Gruner Veltliner while enjoying a nice afternoon in our rocking Adirondack chairs on the front porch. This Gruner cost me $14.99 at Unwined, had a screw cap closure, and clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found tinned pears, tinned peas, white pepper, tropical notes, pineapple, and apple. In the mouth I got more pears, pineapple, tinned veggies, lemon, apple, and grapefruit. Overall I really thought this had great acidity and I promise the tinned veggies weren’t a turn off at all!

Gruner Gruner Gruner Gruner

After participating in the GruV Olympics (which I still need to write about…now where are those notes…) I got on a bit of a Gruner Veltliner kick. The weather turned nice and Matt and I were spending time outside playing Battleship (he lost, both games) and a light crisp wine seemed just the ticket. Luckily, I got lost driving home from UPS the same day (cut me some slack, I swear the mixing bowl changes every time I have to go through it) and I happened to take the route by Unwined home, which I usually never do. Somehow, my car magically steered into the parking lot and I just had to go into the store and pick up some spring-time wines. I think I got 2 or 3 bottles of Gruner Veltliner and a couple bottles of sparkling wine. First we tried the 2008 Anton Bauer Gmork Gruner Veltliner. It had a screw cap closure, cost me $10.99 at Unwined, and clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found white pepper, lemon, tropical notes, exotic vanilla, green apple, and crushed gravel. In the mouth I got lime, white pepper, more lime, green apple, and more lime. Overall I thought the wine had good acidity and for around $11 was a great example of Gruner Veltliner. You’ll have to ask Matt how it tasted alongside a helping of defeat at Battleship!

Sparkling Gruner Veltliner

As I march along in my goal of drinking more bubbly in 2010 (I’m kicking ass at this goal by the way!) I thought I’d bring you something totally different. Matt and I wandered over to the Curious Grape in Shirlington a few weeks ago for a tasting (sadly, we had trouble finding parking due to the snow and arrived a few minutes late and they had already started and wouldn’t let us join in) so we just grabbed a couple bottles of wine and ran. Like I’ve said before, I have trouble going into a wine shop and not buying something. It’s a good thing wine is consumable, otherwise I’d probably be on my way to being on that “Hoarders” tv show. What caught my eye this time was a sparkling Gruner Veltliner. I had to pick up this oddball and give it a shot! The NV Steininger Sparkling Gruner Veltliner clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a typical Champagne closure, and cost me $25.

On the nose I found lemon, stone, honey, cream, pineapple, wax, lychee, and white pepper. In the mouth, this wine struck me as very tropical. I got notes of lychee, white pepper (tons of white pepper), exotic spices, and a slight citrusy feel. I kept thinking I had a mouthful of Pop Rocks as I could hear the wine fizzing in my mouth as I drank it. I really enjoyed this sparkler, I would definitely get it again, especially to toss in at a sparkling tasting for something completely different.

Charming My Darling, Charming

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Folio Winemakers.

I decided I would really love some Gruner Veltliner for Thanksgiving. And I wish it could be either of the Laurenz V. Gruners that I’ve tried in the last few weeks. Alas, I am visiting my folks for the holidays and the wine shop near their house only had one Gruner on the shelf and it was rockgut. Not what I  was going for.  Oh well, at least I have the memory of the 2006 Layrnz V. Charming Gruner Veltliner to keep me going. (PS-the person in the wine shop told me Gruner isn’t very popular…so is it really just popular with Sommeliers? Because I see it stores at home as well as all over restaurant wine lists….) Anywho. The Laurenz V. clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and retails for $24.99.

On the nose I got lemongrass, pineapple, tropical notes, peach, and green beans.  In the mouth I found white peach, white pepper, tropical notes, pineapple, and nectarine.  I found the wine to be round up front with nice acidity on the finish.  It felt fuller/lusher than the other Laurenz V. I tried a couple weeks ago.  I served this with Matt’s signature dish: Gruyere/bacon quiche and it was a fantastic match. I’d recommend both Laurenz V. Gruners that I tried, though for bang for you buck I’d highly recommend the Laurenz . and Sophia Gruner I tried earlier this month.