Tom writes a wine column for The Longridge News, last week he did a piece about Gruner Veltliner, and here’s what he had to say…
Gorgeous Gruner Veltliner – the next big thing?
Have you tried this lovely white grape variety from Europe yet, if not that may soon change. At The Whalley Wine Shop we have been introducing customers to ‘Gruner’ and all it’s wonderful, easy drinking, charms and getting a fantastic response. Let’s start at the beginning. Gruner Veltliner is a white grape from Austria where 1 in every 3 vines planted is Gruner Veltliner. It makes light, crisp, dry, fresh white wines that are unoaked. Delicate citrus flavours intertwine with peach and a haunting waft of dry, spicy, white pepper that works brilliantly with simple grilled fish dishes. And that clean, dry, straightforward style is why I think it will appeal to white wine drinkers who enjoy both Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.
If you’re a fan of Pinot Grigio then you will enjoy Gruner for it’s soft, easy drinking style with pleasant hints of citrus and a lovely clean unoaked style. If you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc then you will enjoy Gruner for it’s fresh zesty flavour, nice citrus notes, a nuance of more exciting fruit, and a lovely dry, spicy finish… oh and did I mention it’s unoaked. So if you like the crisp, fresh and minerally style of white wine I would definitely urge you to try an Austrian Gruner Veltliner, especially if you’re having fish. You can find a lot of great examples of Gruner Veltliner at around £9.99 a bottle, and it’s well worth it.
Gruner’s popularity is spreading and another country getting in on the act is New Zealand. The Kiwi’s are world famous for their fabulous Sauvignon Blancs and have another potential success on their hands with Gruner Veltliner. I tried a new NZ Gruner last week at an industry wine tasting in London and WOW, the flavours are fantastic, more intense than the European examples with abundant fruit character; peach, pineapple, honey and spice all pushing to the front. Fuller bodied and with texture, more suited to spicy Asian dishes, the New Zealand Gruner Veltliner offers a lovely contrast to the clean, crisp Austrian wines.
Our recommendation would be to try the Austrian Gruner first and then the New Zealand. Start with the wonderfully named – The Dot, Austrian Pepper, from the European Winery of the Year, R&A Pfaffl – a delicious and modern example from a new, exciting young wine maker. Light citrus flavours, textured mineral quality with a touch of black pepper spice in the tail. Then try ‘The Crossings’, Gruner Veltliner, 2016 from New Zealand – the first vintage from the Yealands Wine Estate in Marlborough, and it’s utterly delicious.
Get into gorgeous Gruner and be one step ahead of the ‘next big thing’ in white wines. Cheers.