Monday, August 30, 2010

Gruener Veltliner - Falstaff Grand Prix 2010

Picture: Falstaff 05/2010 Cover

Gruener Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is a grape variety - grown primarily in Austria - which has become very popular in the US recently. It is a particularly food-friendly wine. A lot of it is consumed in the Wine Taverns of Vienna (Heuriger) in the year or the following year, when the wine was made. Grüner Veltliner accounts for about 1/3 of Austria’s wine production. Most of it is grown in the northeast of the country, along the Danube to the west of Vienna, in Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal. In the deeper clay soils in the Weinviertel to the northeast of Vienna Grüner Veltliner develops more of a spicy, peppery character.

Also, the Czech Republic, particularly Southern Moravia close to the Austrian border, produces some Grüner Veltliners of notable quality. Grüner Veltliner accounts for approximately 11% of Czech wine.

Wine producer Austria

Austria has about 50.000 hectares of vineyard, equivalent to about half of Germany’s total vineyard area. Almost all of it in the east of the country. Austria can be divided into 4 main wine regions, which are split into 16 districts. The 4 main wine regions are Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) with 30.000 hectares, Burgenland with 15.000 hectares, Steirerland (Styria) with 4.000 hectares and Wien (Vienna) with 600 hectares.

Picture: The Wine Regions of Austria

There are currently more than 30 varieties of grape admissible for the production of quality and "Prädikatswein" in Austria. In terms of white grapes, Grüner Veltliner is the dominant grape in Austria, producing generally dry wines ranging from short-lived Heuriger wines to Spätleses capable of long life. The ancient Welschriesling variety is used in the noble rot dessert wines of the Neusiedlersee; it also makes undistinguished dry wines for drinking young, as does Müller-Thurgau (Rivaner).

Zweigelt and Blauburger were bred at Klosterneuburg in the 1920s and now account for nearly half of Austria's red wine. Blaufränkisch and Portugieser are the traditional red grapes of the region. Saint Laurent came from France in the mid-19th century, and seems to have substantial Pinot Noir parentage.

Falstaff Grüner Veltliner Grand Prix 2010

Falstaff, the leading Austrian wine journal, has released the results of its Falstaff Gruener Veltliner Grand Prix 2010. The Falstaff jury considered only wines (1) with not more than 13 percent alcohol, (2) that were dry, i.e. with not more than 4 grams remaining sugar per liter, (3) that were not aged in oak and (4) that did not show any signs of the noble rot, botrytis. Here are the 3 winners and all winemakers that received a gold medal.

The 3 Top Wines

1. Place: 2009 Achleiten, Gruener Veltliner, Weingut Karl Holzapfel, Wachau

The 1. Place goes to Karl Holzapflel from the Weingut Holzapfel in Jochingen the Wachau. The Wauchau is the part of the Danube valley around the Melk Abbey, with steep terraces that produce world-class Grüner Veltliner and Riesling wines.

The Holzapfel winery is in the “Lesehof” , an architectural jewel build 700 years ago, when most of the vineyards in the Wachau region belonged to the church; the Lesehof was the grape pressing center for the whole area. The Holzapfel Estate vineyard area totals 14 hectares, situated in several outstanding sites, including Achleiten, Vorderseiber, Weitenberg, Klaus and Kollmitz.

Euro 9.50

2. Place: 2009 Frauengrund, Gruener Veltliner, Weingut Josef Dockner, Kremstal

The Winzerhof Dockner of Josef Dockner is located in the Kremstal area, also in Lower Austria. Th Kremstal region lies downstream of the Wachau region, centred aound the town of Krems. The valley opens out a little bit and the climate is a bit warmer allowing more red wine to be produced, but otherwise Kremstal is quite similar to the Wachau.

The total vineyard area of the Winzerhof Dockner is 42 hectares, including parcels of sites such as Frauengrund, Lusthausberg, Oberfeld and Rosengarten. 60% of the vineyard area is planted with white varieties. Josef Dockner also produces noble sweet wines, such as ice wine and straw wine.

Euro 6.00

3. Place: 2009 engelreich, Weingut Ludwig Neumayer, Traisental

Weingut Neumayer is located in Inzersdorf ob der Traisen in the Traisental. The Traisental with its center Herzogenburg, south of Krems, was designated as a wine district only in 1995. Mostly Grüner Veltliner is grown here.

Weingut Ludwig Neumayer is the leading wine producer in the region, with clients including Alain Ducasse. The vineyard area totals 9 hectares, most of this in small terraced parcels in the Engelreich, Gießgraben, Hendlgraben, Rafasetzen, Rothenbart, Seigarten, Spielberg and Zwirch sites, which are spread around like a mosaic.

Euro 9.80

Gruener Veltliner Wines With 5 Stars

The Falstaff print edition of 05/2010 contains a list of the other 80 or so wines that were awarded 5,4,3 and 2 stars, with background Information, including tasting notes. Here are those wines that were in the 5 star group.

Gruener Veltliner Classic, Weingut Daschuetz, Euro 4.50

Gruener Veltliner Kremstal DAC Hoher Rain, Weingut Geyerhof, Euro 7.60

Gruener Veltliner Federspiel Loibner Gaerten, Weingut Schmelz, Euo 7.80

Gruener Veltliner Kremstal DAC Gebling, Weingut Walter Buchegger, Euro 8

Gruener Veltliner Federspiel Point, Weingut Johann Donabaum, Euro 8.50

Gruener Veltliner Selection, Weingut Jaeger, Euro 8.50

Gruener Veltliner Federspiel Kaiserberg, Domaene Wachau, Euro 8.70

Gruener Veltliner Traisental DAC Obere Steigen, Weingut Markus Huber, Euro 9

Gruener Veltliner Kremstal DAC Senftenberger Piri, Weingut Nigl, Euro 9.50

Gruener Veltliner Fass 4, Weingut Bernhard Ott, Euro 10.20

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

Austria's 13 Top Zweigelt Wines - The 2009/2010 Falstaff Selection

Austria's 17 Best Zweigelt Wines - The 2010 Wein.pur List

German Wine makers in the World: A. Schlumberger, Austria

Wine ratings: Austria's best red wines - 2010

Wine ratings: Austria - Falstaff Top Red Wines 2009/2010

Welcome to America: Franz and Christine Netzl Estate, Carnuntum, Austria

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