Friday, October 2, 2009

Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner Kamptal 2008

Gruner Veltliner. It’s pronounced Grooner Velt-lee-ner. Go ahead and say it – it’s kind of fun. As the varietal is starting to gain popularity with consumers, even the normally reserved and conservative Austrian wineries are having some fun with the name Gruner Veltliner. The inevitable “Groovy” association is starting to take its place not only in reviews and descriptions, but also on some cartoonish labels. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when people have some fun and levity with wine, but Gruner Veltliner is a grape that wine lovers should take pretty seriously.

Gruner Veltliner is grown primarily in Austria, and it is believed to be native to the country. Grown primarily in Northeast Austria, very often on steep terraces along the Danube, Gruner is a unique and very food friendly varietal that has become a part of my everyday mix as of late. It is a wine that is unique in its ability to pair with many different foods as well as in its ability to pair with some tricky foods like asparagus, artichokes, and other vegetables.

The Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner Kamptal 2008 from Schloss Gobelsburg is a very nice example of a good, everyday Gruner that has become one of my "go to" everyday whites. Pale gold in color, the bouquet brought lime and lemon with notes of peach and grapefruit. In your mouth, you get lemon and lime with Granny Smith apple flavors and just a touch of white pepper spice. The wine brings a wonderful crisp acidity and minerality that is extremely refreshing, but this is not just a hot, summer day wine. It is extremely food friendly. I should also note that although the finish was not exceptionally long, it did have a nice lift with crisp, refreshing citrus flavors lingering on your palate.

As far as food pairing goes, this wine is very versatile. You could pair it with chicken, fish, or shellfish prepared a number of different ways, and it would also pair quite nicely with sushi and edamame. I had it recently with a honey mustard marinated and grilled chicken breast and it paired nicely with that. What really surprised me though and set this apart from other white wines, is how it paired with the green beans I had on the side. I can’t recall the last time I got excited about a wine and vegetable pairing, but both the wine and the green beans were made more enjoyable by having them together. That is what a great pairing is all about.

I picked this bottle up for just under $14, and it was worth every penny. So go ahead – say it. Gruner Veltliner. Now go ahead and get some Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner and give it a try and enjoy it. Cheers!

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