Picked up some GV for the first time today. I was doing my normal shopping at TJ's and while I don't normally use that store as a place to pick up wine, I always browse to see if they have anything interesting that I've never tried before. That's when I came across the Gruner Veltliner. It's a 2005 "Velt.1". What should I expect with this? Any ideas of what to serve it with? Thanks in advance.
Gruner Veltliner is my absolute favorite varietal these days, so we've been sampling a lot of different ones in the past months.
As Heels mentioned, what you tasted was a very good introductory version. There are many out there like this- three of my favorites for under $15 are the Kalmuck (we get it at a supermarket called Bristol Farms, but I'm sure it's not too hard to find elsewhere), Gritsch Axpoint, and the Johann from Johann Donabaum. These should all be the 2005 vintage, as the entry level Gruners are meant to be drank when young.
On the slightly higher end, I love anything from Hogl. Particularly his Schon Viessling Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2004 and 2005. Also fantastic is the Donabaum Spitzer Point Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2004, which I discovered from Wine Spectator. They called it a great wine at a bargain of a price, and after tasting it, I totally agree.
A good place to start looking for Gruners that you can find either locally to you or order online is www.wine-searcher.com. That's where I always go when I read about a wine in a magazine, and I can usually find some online shop who will deliver it.
And as for what to serve it with- it's known for being the one wine that pairs with artichoke & asparagus. It's also great with seafood & shellfish (we had some with seared scallops on a fresh pea puree and it was a fantastic match), vegetarian foods, lentil dishes- pretty much anything, actually.
The one you picked up, if I'm not mistaken, is from Hirsch. It's a great little introductory GV... At the same price point, you should check out Loimer's Lois and Stadt Krems' Sandgrube. As far as pairings are concerned--asian food is a natural pair--the clean flavors mirror those in the wine. Also nice with cheese, as zin mentions. Enjoy!
Think of it as a theoretical blend of Condrieu (Viognier) and a Mosel (Rieslng) -- aromatic, but with zesty acidity and minerality. Great aperitif, wonderful with some cheeses, delicious with fish, shellfish and some lighter poultry.
Grüner Veltliner is great stuff! (Potentially, at least -- I'm not sure what TJ's carries, but the best producers include Nigl, Bründlmeyer, Schrock and otehrs.)