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2011 Dürnberg Grüner Veltliner “Rabenstein”, Weinwertel DAC Reserve, Austria – LCBO Vintages $24.95

Hallelujah! I’ve been most happy to note that the LCBO is currently ordering quite a bit more of higher-end Austrian Grüner Veltliner. This is a truly splendid thing when one considers that it was only around five years back you would be fortunate to find even a single bottle of the entry-level stuff in stock at many of the city’s stores.

This superb bottling from the Dürnberg winery, located in the Falkenstein sub-region of Weinwertel, is made with grapes from the Rabenstein vineyard’s 50-year-old vines, and will be an real epiphany for those used to simpler Grüners.

There is a certain extract/weight on the palate, that when combined with a delightfully crisp mineral profile makes for an outstanding example of what can be done with the grape in Falkenstein. Judicious ageing on the lees for 10 months in 1,200 litre oak barrels gives the wine even more stuffing and substance.

The nose shows a fair bit of reserve that I believe will develop extensively over time. Currently exhibiting pear, apple, honey, clementine, and classic white pepper notes, with a couple of years in bottle this bouquet will grow to become a much more expansive beast.

The palate is undeniably dense and generous without being in any way cloying, thanks to the wine’s considerable malic strength (read: natural acidity), making it a versatile foil for all manner of foodstuffs, from the always-tricky-to-match-with smoked fish, through schnitzel, to the classic boiled beef (a hell of a lot better than it sounds! see pic below).

Whilst boiled beef doesn't sound to appealing, I can assure you that when done right, such at here at Vienna's famed Plachutta, it can be very tasty indeed... and would work well with this Grüner.

Whilst boiled beef doesn’t sound too appealing, I can assure you that when done right, such at here at Vienna’s famed and historied Plachutta, it can be very tasty indeed… and would work well with this Dürnberg Grüner.

If you are in any way intrigued as to how more complex bottlings of this grape taste, then I would highly recommend you track down a bottle of this smashing vinous treat from Falkenstein. A real bargain at $24.95. Oh, and the label is pretty damn cool too…

Jamie DrummondEdinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that was an excellent bottle of wine.