Friday, 20 August 2010


A Grüner Veltliner from Austria's Carnuntum appellation.

Weingut Markowitsch, Grüner Veltliner - Alte Reben 2009, Carnuntum
The name Markowitsch has a certain ring to it - almost suggestive of a Tolstoy or Dostoevky novel. However, these particular Markowitsches (Gerhard and Christine) are Austrian winegrowers from the village of Göttlesbrunn, not too far from the Slovakian border. I'd "clocked" the Markowitsch wine label some time ago, which is why I decided to order a red wine of theirs to go with a meal at a family reunion we had in Schruns (of all places) last May. A "Redmont", I think it was: a blend of 55% Zweigelt, 15% Blaufränkisch, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah and 10% Merlot.

Anyway, this GrüVe was harvested from 40 to 45-year old vines, hence the "Alte Reben" tag. Grown on sandy loam and loess, the resultant juice was fermented in stainless steel to weigh in at just over 14% alcohol.

Straw-yellow in appearance with greenish gold hue. Flinty, burnt aromas on the nose, with plenty of the trademark GrüVe black pepper and spice. Tremendous ripeness too but fresh, with maybe a touch of dried apricot. The concentration and extract continues on the palate, although the acidity is low. Despite the relatively high alcohol level, in no way is this a hot-house wine. There is a certain viscosity at first, and then dried fruit (apricot again), vegetative notes and spice take over. This is what buffers the alcohol and results in a fairly long finish. The total number of Grüner Veltliners I've ever drunk barely reaches into double figures, but this wine whets my appetite for more.

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