I expect (and hope) that most readers of this blog are old enough to remember when Gruner Veltliner was going to be the Next Big Thing in wine. I’d peg that date at about 1998.
And then the Next Big Thing really did come along.
It turned out to be Pinot Grigio.
Oh well. The fact that Gruner never became a household name didn’t stop Austria from pumping out the stuff, and in fact the general quality level of Gruner Veltliner hitting our shores today is exceptional — much better than the cheap Italian Pinot Grigio we’re getting gouged for at the grocery store.
Laurenz “Lenz” Moser makes some of Austria’s best value-priced Gruners, and his entry-level wine is called “Singing,” despite the well-known rule that the name of your wine should never be a gerund.
2008 Laurenz V Singing Gruner Veltliner has a huge buzziness on the tongue, almost as if it’s carbonated, with its huge minerality dancing around in your mouth. Flinty, let’s say. The body is lean and crisp, and the flavor profile, once you push past the bedrock, offers apples, figs, and a touch of honey on the finish. Enchanting, singing even, especially at this price. A / $16
2006 Laurenz V Charming Gruner Veltliner is a much different wine, with a creamier, bigger body and less acidity. Though it’s also Gruner, it has more of a Chardonnay feel to it, which may make it more popular with fans of the more buttery style of wine. Fruit-wise, the flavors are similar, just more muted: apples and figs, some mango. B+ / $28