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12 April 2006

Get Your Grüv On

Today, our host for WineBloggingWednesday #20 asks us to eschew the usual suspects in the white wine family.  That means no Riesling, no Sauvignon Blanc and, of course, no Chardonnay.  So where does that leave me?  I could feed my Italian fetish and crack open a Kerner or Grillo.  I pondered pulling out one of the off-the-wall French whites from Stéphane Tissot (Traminer or Savagnin).  I nearly got all Basque-y, but then I just recently sampled a Txacoli from the Spanish Basque region and, the Caveman has the French Basque region covered.  Thus, in a fit of unpredictability, I randomly selected a wine from Austria’s Wachau region - Grüner Veltliner.  Yes, I’m sure many readers are overwhelmingly surprised by this unexpected selection (sarcasm off).

Wachaufoto_1_1The Wachau, a picturesque region along the Danube, west of Vienna, Is well known for its sharply rising hills with precarious vineyards.  This is a fine place in which to aquaint yourself with Grüner Veltliner.  A collection of quality conscious vintners, known as the VINEA WACHAU NOBILIS DISTRICTUS, offers three distinct styles: Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd.  The light, nouveau-ish (11% alcohol, max) Steinfeder wines are often g’spritzt by the locals.  Federspiel Grüners are a bit weightier, but still, a somewhat delicate expression of G.V.  However, if you want a Grüner that’s going to say, “Bam! Pow!” then grab a bottle of Smaragd - the big boy on the G-block.

The Skinny
GritschGritsch Mauritiushof ‘Singerriedel’ Grüner Veltliner 2003 ($27)

  • 100% Grüner Veltliner from the Singerriedel vineyard near the town of Spitz in the Wachau.  14% alcohol
  • This wine is white-gold in color with a very stout/thick appearance in the glass
  • Singerriedel played the ‘if they mated’ game with my nose.  In part, it smells like an Alsatian Gewurztraminer with exotic fruit scents of pineapple, nectarine and mango.  But on the next whiff, I was reminded of a rich, white Burgundy with earthy notes and apple orchard aromas.  Think of it as something along the lines of a loveable Alsatian-Burgundy offspring
  • In the mouth, this wine is all about mouthfeel.  It’s thick, silky smooth and serves up a peppery adieu on the finish

I was in the mood for a slow burn with this wine, so I paired it with fettuccine and spicy sausage & kale.  Singerriedel allowed the spices to smolder on my tongue before soothing my mouth with silkiness.  It’s certainly up for curry dishes, peppery steaks or sweet & sour marinated chicken.  Go ahead, sample the Smaragd and get you grüv on.

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