TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis

Bernhard Ott, Grüner Veltliner, Fass 4, 2009

Posted by Torsten 25 Feb 2011

This wine is fake. Well, a little. If you understand German, that is - otherwise you wouldn't know that "Fass 4" stands for "Barrel 4". Years ago, wines sold under this label were indeed matured in large wooden barrels, but these times are gone at the Ott winery, and now it is all steel tanks for "Barrel 4".

And out of the tanks at Wagram comes a Grüner Veltliner, Austria's signature white wine, and Bernhard Ott's speciality. Does the wine also taste "fake" - or let's rather call it "historical homage"?

It certainly does not smell fake or historicist at all, exciting your nose with fresh aromas of citrus, pear and green apple, a little flowery but spiced up with ground pepper and lots of mineral. On the tongue the wine is as fresh and minerally as the nose promised, a clean, refreshing and crisp white wine with juicy, bitter-sweet moments and salty mineral. Oh, and a long finish that burns your mouth dry with mineral.

Clear cut, crisp, refreshing but not without complexity, Bernhard Ott's Grüner Veltliner is maybe a couple of Euro too expensive to elevate every day drinking to the next level, but - steel tank or not - it is delicious and fairly priced.