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Schloss Gobelsburg Lamm Gruner Veltliner (375ML half-bottle) 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Schloss Gobelsburg maintains a large number of parcels in Erste Lagen, or 1st Growth, vineyards in the Kamptal, including the mineral-rich, crystalline slopes of the Gaisberg and Heiligenstein planted to Riesling, and the deep loess soils of Renner, Grub, and Lamm planted to Grüner Veltliner. The winery continues to utilize organic winegrowing and has benefited from the fact that the monks of Zwettl Monastery began these practices as early as 1958.
While many international cellars are attempting to produce clean, uniform wines, Moosbrugger is convinced that the future Gobelsburg lies in individuality and character. As a high level of technology is necessary to warrant uniformity, Moosbrugger believes that individuality can only be achieved through the reduction of machines. Moosbrugger developed the ‘Dynamic Cellar Concept’ for Gobelsburg in which wines are no longer pumped from one location to the other, but transported in ‘barrels on wheels’ from one section of the cellar to the other.
A hallmark of the estate are the ‘Tradition’ bottlings of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. Having read the meticulous notations of the Cistercians at the estate over the past 150 years, Michi pays homage in his role as cellar master, responsible for the ‘education’ of his ‘pupils’ –wine- while leading them through elevage; as opposed to acting as ‘winemaker,’ whose decisions in present day Austria are generally to preserve aromatics and fruit through extremely reductive methods.
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.
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!
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.
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.