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20110813 IRISH TIMES PRAISES GROOVY GRUNER VELTLINER Influential wine critic John Wilson heaps praise on Austrian varietal  

Austrian varietal Gruner Veltliner
13 August 2011

"It comes in a variety of styles, but is usually fresh and crisp, yet never nerve-tinglingly acidic. It is rarely aged in new oak, so you get a lovely expression of pure fruit." These are the words of Irish Times wine critic John Wilson to describe the distinctly Austrian varietal "Gruner Veltliner" in his article in The Irish Times Magazine on Saturday, 13 August 2011.

It is no secret to followers of John Wilson that The Irish Times wine critic is a fan of the Grüner Veltliner produced by Austrian boutique wineries. In his most recent article, it was no different - with enthusiastic and wide-sweeping praise: ".... it is very dependable. I am not sure if this is down to the variety or a reflection of the high standard of Austrian wine-making, but just about every bottle of Gruner Veltliner is drinkable if not charming." Some labels are also singled out for particular mention such as those produced by Laurenz V, Schloss Gobelsberg, Domane Wachau and Kaferberg.

To read the full article please click here:
Groovy Gruner Veltliner_The Irish Times_John Wilson_130811 [pdf, 1,088.5kb]

Austria's most sigificant white wine variety is Grüner Veltliner making up one third of all white wines produced in Austria. This thoroughly Austrian variety grows mostly in Weinviertel, Traisenental, Kremstal, Wachau and Kamptal in Lower Austria as well as in Leithaberg in Burgenland. 

The spectrum of wines is wide, ranging from light-bodied wines with an attractive tingle of carbon dioxide, often drunk young, to the opulent, rich vintage dry wines with exceptional cellaring potential. The variety is quite recognisable, with a spicy mixture of fruit (mostly apple) and spice (the signature pepper note), supported with lively, integrated acidity. Very ripe styles, such as the Smaragd wines from the Wachau or some Reserve styles display nuances of nut and dried fruit, complemented with tropical notes and honeyed aromas. 

The reason for the consistency in quality is down to Austria's stringent quality control system for wines and the "DAC" sign of approval. This stands for Districtus Austriae Controllatus.