Slay the Goliaths of Grüner with these top single-site wines

Epidemiologists are looking into the link between emerging from lockdown and plunging into a Grüner-fuelled orgy. There has been such a run on Austria’s signature white grape here at CellarHand that stocks of entry-level Veltliner are being drained dry at a rate of knots.

What better excuse does one need to dive into the Grüner deep-end? It’s less crowded here – so much room to splash around! We’ve picked out a few select goodies in the strictly limited but utterly awesome realm of single-vineyard Veltliner – plus a village-designated Smaragd – and hope we can tempt you to dip in!

2017 F.X. Pichler Dürnstein Grüner Veltliner Smaragd $75

Spice, ginger, juicy grapefruit, green banana, creamy vanilla yoghurt smoothness, but bright and fresh too, lively and weighty, then comes the pepper and celery on a long cool finish. Wonderful. 

94 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

2018 F.X. Pichler Dürnstein Grüner Veltliner Smaragd $75

From the first harvest pass in all the terraces (from younger vines) and from riper fruits in the flat area, the 2018 Dürnsteiner Grüner Veltliner Smaragd is clear, bright and white-fruited on the spicy-elegant nose. On the palate, this is a full-bodied but also fresh and piquant Veltliner Smaragd with good grip and nice bitters. Tasted at the domain in September 2019.

90 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

2015 Franz Hirtzberger Ried Axpoint Grüner Veltliner Smaragd $107

Ripe white peach and Persian melon are wreathed with honeysuckle in this product of a November 3-4 picking. A silken and expansive palate preserves succulent fruit and alluring inner-mouth perfume while exhibiting transparency to almondy, piquant, stony and pronouncedly peppery nuances. The lusciously lingering finish epitomizes this bottling’s marriage of richness with animation and refreshment. (But yes, it’s true that one could be forgiven for thinking this a Riesling.)

93 points. David Schildknecht, Vinous Media

2017 Franz Hirtzberger Ried Kirchweg Grüner Veltliner Smaragd $96

Generous and fleshy, but with just a hint of creaminess, this is a very attractive, medium-to full-bodied Grüner Veltliner. Long, silky finish that has real finesse. Drink or hold.

93 points. Stuart Pigott,

2017 Stadt Krems Ried Wachtberg Grüner Veltliner $77

Beautifully aromatic notes of ripe Russet pear peel beckon on the nose. On the palate, this lovely fruit is joined by zesty pithiness with just an edge of pleasant bitterness that lends real grip amid the flowing, exuberant juiciness. It is the aromatic pear that owns the long finish.

93 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast

2016 Bründlmayer Ried Spiegel Grüner Veltliner $121

A well structured yet cool and rather sleek Gruner Veltliner with a rather closed nose, but very good potential if you can be patient. Long, firm and texturally complex finish. From organically grown grapes. Better from 2019.

93 points.Stuart Pigott,

2017 Bründlmayer Ried Lamm Grüner Veltliner $141

Bründlmayer’s intensely yellow coloured 2017 Grüner Veltliner Ried Lamm 1ÖTW offers a deep, dense, very clear and slightly oaky bouquet that indicates a substantial wine of great class and style. Full-bodied, lush and very elegant on the well-balanced palate, this is a concentrated, firm, pure, finessed Lamm with great mineral tension on the long, complex, persistently salty finish. A great astringent Ried Lamm with enormous aging potential. It is one of the finest Veltliners I tasted from the 2017 vintage.

94 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

2017 Groiss Ried Sauberg Grüner Veltliner $75

A riper aspect of pear plays on the nose, but it is not until the wine reaches the palate that it comes alive. There is a still tight core that holds notes of yeast, shimmering white pepper, celery salt and wet earth, which unfold slowly with a bit of air. This is concentrated but not heavy, impressive but relaxed and simply balanced perfectly.

94 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast

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