One of the great things about wine is its variety. There are hundreds, if not thousands of grape varietals and different blends produced around the world. This gives us an opportunity to select the perfect wine for an occasion, a pairing, or as a part of a collection. We recently sampled a Gruner Veltliner wine from Domane Wachau, a producer in the Wachau Valley of Austria.
Grüner Veltliner is a white wine varietal produced primarily in Austria but also found in the central parts of Eastern Europe. It is the most-planted grape variety in Austria and is used for both still and sparkling wines. It is interesting to note that the varietal is indigenous to Austria. It’s been in created in some form or another since the Roman period.
Grüner Veltliner is similar in style to Sauvignon Blanc and as such is extremely food-friendly, with a distinct acidity. The Domane Wachau Loess Gruner Veltliner (2020: $14.00, ABV 12.5%) is a good representative of the profile. The grapes are hand-picked from vineyards from plots along the Danube River and the Wachau valley floor.
Pale greenish-yellow in color, the wine had a slight Crayon note to an otherwise very soft nose. Unlike most Gruner Veltliner wines that tend to be very citrusy, this wine was quite forward with light white flowers before the lime undertones began. On the finish, there were spicy notes including ginger, pepper, and cinnamon.
When Should You Drink It?
High-end Grüner Veltliner can be aged, but most should be drunk early, within one or two years. It should be served cold and paired with summer dishes like pasta salad, cold cuts, and of course seafood. Therefore, this wine makes a great gift as it is extremely approachable. However, it is also somewhat exotic when compared to other white varietals in its price range such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Pinot Grigio.
For more on this wine or on Domaine Wachau visit the US Distributor Gonzalez Byass USA