Stunning white from one of Austria's greatest wineries, this is a village-level wine from the heart of the Kamptal that is a pristine example of the charm and brilliance of this delightful and delicious grape variety.
With depth of flavour and intense, ripe fruit flavours, there is no shortage of 'volume' in this wine, only that there is such a balancing freshness from the acidity. With minute evidence of oak barrel use there is an enhancement of the natural spice of the Grüner Veltliner that just makes you smile. A medium-full bodied wine that has endless food matching ability.
Langenlois is the name of the town that has been at the forefront of Kamptal wine making for centuries. Set in the lower reaches of the hills the vines get the chance to ripen fully and this, for Grüner especially, allows for the extra layers of complexity and texture to shine in the resultant wines. The Loess soils (Alpine calcareous soil deposited over hundreds of thousands of years) is the breeding ground for these vines that are aged between 5 and 35 years old.
The property itself, Schloß Gobelsburg, dates to 1171.
That's a very long time ago.
It was the year that Ascall mac Ragnaill, the last great Norse-Celtic King of Ireland was captured, trying to defeat Strongbow to become King of Leinster. It's the year that Henry the Second formally annexed Ireland... oh dear. Meanwhile in Austria, Cistercian monks settled in the lower valley of the Wachau region near to the Danube and established a community-based outreach programme to educate and promote better farming practices. The building was a quadrangle that framed an inner courtyard, housed the monks and the winery machinery - and it's still there today.
Not only that, but it is the home of Michael Moosbrugger, the winemaker. He lives there, all alone in the Schloß, making wine and, after his lunch everyday, plays the piano for an hour. He's a really pleasant chap and when I first met him, had just finished learning the Schubert a-minor Sonata, number 16. Which I certainly can't play, even if I practiced for an hour a day after lunch. He's that sort of a renaissance man. And he makes wines that are widely regarded as some of the finest in Austria...
Well, he minds the old monastery's vines with the attention to detail that he minds Schubert, or probably better.
The many sites he manages are simply some of the best sites in the country. He doesn't own any of them outright and shares the names of sites such as Renner, Lamm and Grub with other top, top winemakers. It's just that he has patience and experience to make the best of what he grows.
The lease from the monks was for sixty years - there's plenty of time...
Grüner Veltliner is a brilliant grape variety that seems to be the perfect food matching wine. Textural and semi-aromatic, it often has flavours that are on the culinary spectrum, such as tarragon, sage, oregano and, most typically, white pepper. There are very classic Grüner Veltliners that sometimes present complex aromas as though they have been macerated with a bouquet garni...
Grape(s): Grüner Veltliner
Style: Vibrant, Structured, Refined, Pure, Mineral, Medium Full, Intense, Fruity, Fresh, Fleshy, Engaging, Elegant, Dry, Complex, Bright, Balanced
Best food matches: Warm Salads, Tuna, Trout, Tapas, Sushi, St Stephen's Day, Squid, Shellfish, Seafood, Scallops, Salads, Roasts, Poultry, Pork, Oysters, Mature Cheeses, Lobster, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grilled Vegetables, Goat's Cheese, Game, Fine Dining, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Asparagus, Aperitif