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Jurtschitsch Sonnhof, GrüVe Grüner Veltliner 2008

People have very different ideas about wine labels, including people in wineries, of course, and that must be a good thing as it creates a certain variety. The artist-designed label of this year's GrüVe is certainly very distinctive, although I cannot say that I like the way in which it overpowers the whole bottle to the point that you see nothing else. But that just is the tradition of the Sonnhof estate's GrüVe label, an entry level Austrian Grüner Veltliner from one of Austria's premier wineries.
The 2008 Grüve has a light, clear yellow colour and a bouquet that I would describe as a little rough: a hint of smoke, green vegetables and (almost unripe) apples with fresh acidity plus a little freshly mowed grass and white pepper and - and just the tiniest hint of vomit or at least a rough burp (this may sound disgusting, but first of all I was the only one of a group of eight who got this and I felt it actually added something.
While you cannot taste any vomit, luckily, the ground pepper comes back to add something nice to the finish; in fact, it has been a long while since I had a wine that had such a nice pepper finish, which now makes me very hungry. Despite only 11.5% alcohol, the Grüve is also robust enough to make a good food wine and I now imagine a piece of veal with a white pepper sauce. Despite the nice balance, the dry and at first a little rough nature can scare some people away (as it did at yesterday's tasting). I actually liked it better on the second day, as in yesterday's tasting the wine we sampled before the GrüVe was very fruity and overshadowed the Veltliner.

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