Several important wine critics have indicated that the Austrian white grape variety gruner veltliner presents amazing potential for cultivation in Australia. My sommelier friend James Dossan and I sit down to chat about the origin of the grape, the classic styles made in Austria, and then proceed to taste through a range of different wines from Austria, New Zealand and Australia.
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There are two federspiel quality wines – the Hinter der Burg Gruner Veltliner and the Steinriegl Riesling – which are sourced from the two largest single vineyards. The quality of these wines is as good as any smaragd wine I have tasted from other producers, showing depth concentration and personality.
There are three particular gruner veltliner wines which are made from specific parcels within the Achleiten vineyard, and amazingly all have their own unique personality.
Very bright and floral, full of heady inspiration.
Wachstum Bodenstein 2011
More concentrated in the earthy savoury minerality, showing a slightly salty white meat complexity with quince and grapefruit elements.
Achleiten Stock Kulture 2011
An intense and rich fruit nose of white berries and interestingly tomato juice.
The smaragd riesling wines are all of purity and intensity, with the most developed and yet balanced fruit of all the rieslings I have tasted in Austria.
The Klaus in particular was very closed in its smoked meat and earthy texture and viscosity, in an almost Spartan-like stoicism.
Soil composition of one of the Prager vineyards