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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Gruner Lessons: Double Kamptal

Gruner Veltliner, much like Chardonnay, makes a wide variety of dry white wine styles. Most wine drinkers probably know Gruner for simple, light and refreshing types, but this special grape is capable of rich, spicy, full-bodied styles that improve for decades. This latter style is virtually unknown to American wine drinkers, and the cognoscenti are lucky here, as that means that some very fine Gruners occasionally appear at deep discounts.

Today we've got two quite complex and serious Gruners to try, but one of them is really built to improve, while the other is for drinking over the next few years. Both happen to come from the Kamptal region. One comes from 2019, a warm vintage, while the other comes from 2021, a cool vintage. Both wines have very clear Gruner varietal character (look for notes of white pepper, legumes, vegetables, herbs...), but you'll find much in contrast beyond that, as one is full and ripe, while the other is zippy and light. Far from a comprehensive education in Gruner, to compare these two wines would still be quite illuminating if you've only had a crisp summery type.

One more thing. Both of these wines are offered at a significant discount. A situation worth taking advantage of, to be sure...

Barbara Ohlzelt Gruner Veltliner 'Zobinger' 2021 - $18 (reg. $25)

Beautiful Gruner, a zippy and fresh type, not a swarthy spicy type. Aromas of green pear, apple, sweet green peas, cucumber, hints of white flowers, lemon, and lentil. Crisp and juicy on the palate, beautiful acid cut and drive, green apple and lemon flavors meld with subtle crunchy watery veggie notes. Fresh and crisp, complex and engaging, juicy and gulpable, this has a lot going for it. It should be worth following another few years, but there's absolutely no need to age it. Drink with fish and veggies.

Loimer Gruner Veltliner 'Loiserberg' 2019 - $28 (reg. $35)

Aromas of lentil, white pepper, thyme blossoms, apricot, lychee, yellow apple... on the palate it is almost full-bodied, spicy and layered, densely fruity, this is not super primary but it's also obviously on the young side, subtle mineral grip, soft acids, plush texture... long finish full of spicy and herbal nuance, fresh fruit abounds, lovely stuff, give it a few more years to really shine, or open it a few hours before drinking.

Both wines are in stock, and both will discount with other wines in a mix of six (10% off) or 12 bottles (12% off). The Loimer is much more limited than the Ohlzelt.

Please ask questions or place orders by emailing

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