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Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner Hefeabzug 2010

Gruner Veltliner from Austria
  • WS92
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • JS90
  • WE93
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

#65 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

This 2011 vintage is especially detailed and snappy and you seem to taste every pebble and each lee. Light but long, like spring water or a high-mountain white wine, with great aging potential.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
This powerful, plush-tasting Grüner boasts concentrated flavors of apple tart, baked peach, ruby grapefruit and gooseberry. Unctuous in the midpalate, with a lingering finish of smoke and spice notes. Very expressive. Drink now through 2020.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Despite early-harvest, the Nikolaihof 2010 Gruner Veltliner Hefeabzug weighs-in at, for this bottling, relatively robust over-12% alcohol, which is all the more surprising considering that this wine has seldom exhibited a more delightful sense of levity. There is almost a sweet sense to the crisp green bean, apple, and pear succulently displayed on a lushly-textured, lees-enriched palate. A refreshing thread of lemon juice and a sense of crushed stone suffusion speak to the brightness and mineral density characteristic for this vintage at its best, while a bittersweet, Pinot Blanc-like suggestion of corn shoots adds to the stimulation of a long finish.
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Nikolaihof

Nikolaihof

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Nikolaihof, Austria
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Nikolaihof is the oldest wine estate in Austria, whose history goes back almost 2000 years to Roman times. A walk round the estate is like a trip back through history.

The main elements of the present-day appearance of Nikolaihof date from the fifteenth century, but everywhere one is constantly bumping into remains of the old Roman fortress. Every age has left its traces behind. Today Christine and Nikolaus Saahs receive their guests at receptions and wine tastings under the restored Gothic vaulting of the deconsecrated chapel.

Appreciated for superior wines made from indigenous varieties, Austria should be on the radar of any curious wine drinker. A rather cool and dry wine growing region, this country produces wine that is quintessentially European in style: food-friendly with racy acidity, moderate alcohol and fresh fruit flavors.

Austria’s viticultural history is rich and vast, dating back to Celtic tribes with first written record of winemaking starting with the Romans. But the 20th century brought Austria a series of winemaking obstacles, namely the plunder of both world wars, as well as its own self-imposed quality breach. In the mid 1980s, after a handful of shameless vintners were found to have added diethylene glycol (a toxic substance) to their sweet wines to imitate the unctuous qualities imparted by botrytis, Austria’s credibility as a wine-producing country was compromised. While no one was harmed, the incident forced the country to rebound and recover stronger than ever. By the 1990s, Austria was back on the playing field with exports and today is prized globally for its quality standards and dedication to purity and excellence.

Grüner Veltliner, known for its racy acidity and herbal, peppery aromatics, is Austria's most important white variety, comprising nearly a third of Austrian plantings. Riesling in Austria is high in quality but not quantity, planted on less than 5% of the country’s vineyard land. Austrian Rieslings are almost always dry and are full of bright citrus flavors and good acidity. Red varietal wines include the tart and peppery Zweigelt, spicy and dense Blaufränkisch and juicy Saint Laurent. These red varieties are also sometimes blended.

Gruner Veltliner

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Fun to say and delightfully easy to drink, Grüner Veltliner is indigenous to Austria, where it has long maintained its status as the nation’s most important and most planted white grape.

In the Glass

Crisp and refreshing with plenty of lively acidity, Grüner Veltliner is marked by telltale notes of white pepper, citrus, peach, herbs and a bright minerality. While most are fresh and ready to drink early, there are a few styles to be found. Many high caliber single vineyard bottlings can benefit from cellar aging but the straightforward and easily quaffable Grüners often come in one liter size bottles—a convenient size!

Perfect Pairings

Grüner Veltliner is a wonderfully versatile wine. It can pair with just about any lighter fare, from seafood to poultry, or even notoriously difficult vegetables like asparagus and artichokes. Traditional Austrian Weiner Schnitzel is also a perfect match to the acidity and spice in Grüner Veltliner.

Sommelier Secret

About 75% of the world’s Grüner Veltliner comes from Austria but the variety is gaining ground in other countries, namely Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States.

WVWNIKGRUNHEF_2010 Item# 121161