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Gruner Veltliner

In the wine pairing with chicken fried steak topic,


cookie monster asked for more Gruner Veltliner recommendations, particularly for the Los Angeles area.

I'll lead off by saying that I've been loving the classic stylings of the 2004 vintage. Not quite as tropical as warmer years and showing more minerality and white pepper notes. Slower to show, the wines have become much more expressive in the last six months. The 2003s often suffer from low acidity and hot alcohol, so be sure to taste before you buy in quantity. The 2005s are just starting to arrive. I've tasted a number imported by VinDivino, but sadly missed the Skurnik/Theise tasting, and from this early showing would say that this will be a very good vintage for the grape variety too.

For entry-level, I favor Salomon Hochterrasen and Hirsch Veltliner #1. I just had the 2004 Salomon two weeks ago and it rocked with a chilled spotted prawn appetizer. When I have more money to spend, Brundlmayer and Nigl are among my favorite producers.

Here's a link to a discussion from three years ago for a chow dinner of San Francisco hounds.

GrĂ¼ner Veltliner and Hong Kong-style Seafood -

While you probably won't be able to find the exact vintages we tasted, it will give you an idea of the relative styles and different bottlings from some of the top producers. You should have no trouble finding them in LA --- try Woodland Hills Wine Co., Wine House, Wine Ex in OC. And, please report back!

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  1. I've tried several of the '05 Gruners, my favorites were Jamek, Nikolaihof, and Alzinger (as usual!). Amazing wines. These are going to require several years to begin to open up. They are very tightly wound, with crazy acidity. The prices are going to be really high.

    For drinking now and more reasonable prices I liked Schloss Gobelsburg and Soellner.

    1. another entry level for drinking now is the loimer landwein--comes in liter bottles, super fresh, very crisp and nice bright fruit. not super varietally indicative, but certainly very pleasant to drink (a finalist for my wedding white (outdoors, nc, august)

      1. Anyone tried the Oriel Gruner Veltliner? I had it at a tasting in the OC recently--yummy. It's called "Ortolan".

        1 Reply
        1. re: mangefromage

          I am having a glass of the Oriel Gruner now. It has got a great lemon pith thing about it--sure is helping me survive this heat!

        2. Just out of curiosity, was that GV with the spotted prawn appetizer the one on the list at Winterland? Because we had a carafe of GV (love the carafe concept at Winterland!) with our starters there last night and it was excellent with them. More surprisingly, I had a few sips left in my glass when dessert rolled around. I expected the sweetness of the dessert to make the wine taste sour in comparison, but I found just the opposite: the wine tasted sweeter and the dessert actually brought out some tropical fruit notes that hadn't been apparent with the savory courses.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Yes, that's the 2004 Salomon, and I confirmed last night that it's still on the list and the only GV on Winterland's short list.

          2. I picked up a few bottles of the 2004 Rabl GV "Spiegel" in Vancouver about a week ago, have any hounds given this a try? Waiting for our next Thai/Viet/etc excursion to pop one open.

            1. Have you been to LA Wine Company over in the Culver City/Mar Vista area (www.lawineco.com)? I was there about three weeks ago (it's a stand-by as I live nearby) and I picked up the 2004 Nigl for $14. Also grabbed a 2004 Loimer that's pretty tasty.

              1. What's that stuff in the liter bottle with the crown cap for under $10? Somebody told me that in Austria everybody at the party gets his own, like beer.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  The one in the NY market is from Hofer. It's really a good wine for the price, but to me it didn't seem to have any of the distiguishing features of the varietal. I think the deal with it is that it's the wineries house wine for their restaurant and wasn't ever intended for export.

                  1. re: warrenr

                    Not sure I agree with this completely-- I take your point that the Hofer doesn't necessarily shout GV, but it does still possess a very identifiably GV nose.


                    NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Can't recall the name, Robert, and we're in Santa Barbara at the moment, but I find it at Shopper's Corner in Santa Cruz, always found it rather decent, especially since the alternative are the $20-24 750's at Soif. Will have to look into the Rabl vendor in the post above.

                  3. I'm going to have to call it a varietal preference. That, or you haven't really tasted a top Gruner Veltliner (which would be good news, since it can really be fantastic)

                    It's not just me: most of the top critics agree that this is a world-class grape that produces world-class wines. Jancis Robinson, Robert Parker, David Schildnecht, Bruce Sanderson, Hugh Johnson, Kim Marcus and others. They can't all be wrong.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: OliveBelle

                      It's true that GV produces world-class wines. It's also true that it's not nearly the equal of riesling.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        No, that isn't true. That's an opinion.

                        1. re: OliveBelle

                          Neither is a matter of much controversy.

                        2. re: Robert Lauriston

                          The Austrian winemakers themselves will tell you that Riesling is their great grape. And Jancis Robinson MW's first love is still Riesling. (g)