A Groovy 2010 Vintage to Try

The 2010 vintage of Gruner Veltliners are priced well and are great quality

If you don’t know Austria’s great national grape, Grüner Veltliner (just say GruV), now is the time to try it as the great 2010 vintage is hitting the shelves now. This vintage yielded Grüner Veltliners that are very tensile and dry. These lower priced wines are of great quality and share many of the virtues of their higher priced brethren: strong mineral flavors and a long lasting, spicy finish.

GruVs are also dry and tangy, and possess an herbaceousness. They’re not fruity wines; their flavors tend toward the citrus side of the spectrum. Grüners are among the best wines to enjoy with food, especially dishes with so-called “wine-killers” such as vinaigrettes, artichokes and eggs. 

Fritsh “Windspiel,” $14
Cheery flavors suggesting apples cooked in butter and herbs. Fresh, emphatic essences that work particularly well with spicy green salads.      

Schloss Gobelsburg “Gobelsburger,” $16
Impeccable balance of components and flavors, this displays textbook Grüner aromas of boxwood and lentils. The palate reveals dense flavors of apricot dusted with white pepper and nutmeg. 

Nigl “Freiheit,” $20
Very elegant, finely hewn texture with flavors of rhubarb and lemon balm. This has the snap of 2010, but lovely body as well. Try with halibut and a thick pat of compound butter.

Available at Madison’s finer wine stores. If unavailable, most purveyors will special order from their wholesalers if requested. Michael Kwas is wine director at L’Etoile restaurant. He writes this column monthly.

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