Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lark Hill Gruner Veltliner 2010 (Canberra District) Sample

Gruner Veltliner is the dominant white wine of Austria, and is now happily being grown in several parts of Australia (including Tasmania and the Canberra District). It is one of the few white wines in Australia to deserve a trendy “up and coming” reputation (eg: the opposite of Pinot Gris). Personally, when someone utters the words ‘Gruner Veltliner’ it conjures up images of brown leather suits and camp Germanic accents. This does not detract from my enjoyment of the wine, quite the opposite (what is not to love about a 1970s leather suit?).

RedtoBrown have tried a few of the more affordable Austrian Gruners, including the entry level Domane Wachau (link) and the 09 Nigl Gartling (review to follow), and have been impressed.

With this in mind, RedtoBrown were very keen to taste the second vintage of Gruner Veltliner from Canberra District winery, Lark Hill. Lark Hill is fully bio-dynamic and one of a handful of Australian wineries leading the charge with locally produced Gruner Veltliner.

The Lark Hill GruVee is a generous and vibrant wine. It has a seductive nose of citrus, herbs and subtle spice. On the palate, ripe pear, sweet root vegetables and subtle lemon are combined with a relatively soft but supportive acidity. The wine has a minerality that adds tightness, though is not dominant. It finishes with a hint of pepper and a pleasant hit of herbal bitterness that adds complexity.

The 2010 Lark Hill Gruner Veltliner is an enjoyable, approachable wine. At $45rrp it is not cheap, though the winery is not aiming for ‘cheap and cheerful’ with this wine. I respect that. The vines are young, and I will be interested to see if the wine evolves over the years to gain more minerality and secondary pepper and spice.
Aussie wineries like Lark Hill, Handorf Hill and a handful of others growing this grape should be commended – it is food friendly, should be attractive to a wide range of wine drinkers.

Rating:
/92pts* (* for the level of drinking enjoyment AND a for being new, rare wine variety grown in Australia - the two don't always go together!)
RRP:$45
ABV:12.5%
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au/

2 comments:

Chris Plummer said...

Here's to the future of Aussie GruVee! (I type this while sipping a glass of sav/sem :/

I haven't had the Lark Hill yet but the Hahndorf Hill 2010 was certainly one of the most memorable Australian wines I had last year. Definitely looking forward to drinking more.

Cheers,
Chris P

Brown said...

Thanks Chris, I am looking forward to trying the Hahndorf Hill!
I think the challenge for GruVee growers in Australia will be to strike the balance between matching the Austrian style of GV, and forging an Australian sub-style. Same could be said for Sangiovese, Tempranillo, etc as well.
What I can say is that the Lark Hill is an enjoyable wine in its own right (if not one of my most memorable in 2010), which is still a good thing :-)
It is way too early to tell, but I can see GruVee producing better wines in Australia than Pinot Gris/Grigio has managed thus far.

Cheers

Rod

 
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