Going Green? Go Grüner
Loimer Grüner Veltliner 2015
I really went back and forth about whether to tell you about this bottle. Grüner is a weird wine, an Austrian wine that hasn’t really hit prime time, and it can be a pretty wine-geek wine that’s sometimes hard to get – both literally (not much finds its way into the LCBO) and figuratively (its specialness can occasionally be hidden by intense acids and minerality that can seem quite neutral).
But after enjoying this bottle over 4 nights, I was smitten and just had to share. Because this little weirdo is friggin delicious. (Plus, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and we’re adults and Grüner means green, so obviously it’s what we should all be drinking tonight.)
Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s signature grape. It’s typically made dry to show off its intense acidity that makes it super easy to pair with food. It’s not particularly perfumed, so it’ll never overwhelm a dish, and it’s a great companion to everything from oysters to schnitzel to OMG pickled herring (why didn’t I think of that sooner?!).
If you like Sauvignon Blanc (and, honestly, I’m coming back around on it) then you’ll love Grüner. If you like dry Riesling, then you’ll love Grüner. If you like drinking somm-approved wines, then you’ll love Grüner.
This particular bottle is made by Fred Loimer, who built a black box on top of his family’s existing cellars where he creates beautiful wines following organic and biodynamic principles. He’s been around the block a few times, having worked everywhere from Germany to California before returning home, so you know he’s honed his skill with – and respect for – local grapes. People go nuts for his wines, and this lovely bottle (an entry level bottle at that) is a great example of exactly why.
Just like I imagine Austria to be, it’s a little hard to get at first but once you’re in it, you’re hooked.
Nose: Lemon-lime, minerality that’s not quite salty, not quite soapy (kinda like rosemary and cilantro can be sometimes), orchard blossoms, and white pepper
Palate: Cheek puckering acidity but with almost a honey (or honeysuckle) flavour so it’s still pleasurable and rich. It’s all minerals, peach-green apple-citrus flavours in a lovely harmony that develops over a few days (or hours) into something just lovely with hints of ginger and spice. It’s definitely a food wine, and it complemented everything I ate it with from chili to pierogis. It’s fresh and crisp and a little taste of spring. And it’s that perfect style of wine that you can overthink if you want to, or just drink and delight in its crisp cleanness.