Spit Happens #45 – Gruner Vetliner

Gruner Veltliner isn’t exactly a grape variety that comes to mind when you are thinking of classic age worthy wines. If it isn’t in your repertoire it deserves to be. Gruner Veltliner or Gruve ( as all the cool kids call it ) is an unrecognized superstar in the age worthy white wine category. Many years ago in my other life I attended a lecture at the Society of Wine Educators Conference in Vancouver BC. The keynote speaker was Terry Theise.

Terry is the import partner for a high quality importer in the United States called Skurnik Wines. I have long considered this agent the premiere National importer of European wines to the US. Terry showed us wines the Austria that had not been available in our market for years. A scandal in the Austria wine market meant there was a long period with no availability of the wines in many parts of the world. He poured us 20 year old Gruner Veltliner that was clean and showed very little oxidation. It was reminiscent of great aged Chassagne Montrachet. I was stunned and the room positively vibrated with excitement . We immediately made plans for Austrian wines to be a part of the Marquis Wine Cellars offerings. Producers such as Nigl, Prager, Solomon and Kracher became a staple in the store. That got me thinking about Gruve and other places it might do very well. Mendocino or Santa Barbara might be possible locations but how about closer to home ?

There was a time when I thought it might do well in Naramata and I actively lobbied a winery there to plant it with no success . I shelved the idea and went back to doing what I do best ,selling wine. Then what do you know ? I started to see a few people testing it out . Currently I know of 4 places it’s planted , De Vine in Saanich ( not currently listed on their website ) Border Town , Summerhill and Culmina. While I have not tasted the first 3 lately I have tried the Culmina Wines since the first release and they have impressed me a lot. Fresh and clean with a nice bright core of acid and enough texture that would lead me to believe they could age 10-15 years.

Check out Culmina at http://www.culmina.ca/ And buy some. They say up to 3 years aging . I think this could and should go much longer.

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Cheers

David Lancelot