We have already gone through one testing note for a Grüner Veltliner wine. In that case, it was an Outstanding wine. Let’s see how tasting notes for Good and Very Good Grüners could look like. As always, we use the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting.
Saving Grace Gruner Veltliner 2018
Colour: Medium lemon
Nose: Medium+ intensity of primary aromas of stone fruit – peach, apricots, citrus – orange peel, mandarine, floral – honeysuckle, orange blossom, tropical fruit – unripe banana, secondary aromas of oak – vanilla, tertiary aromas of honey
Palate: Dry, with a pronounce intensity of primary flavours of stone fruit – peach, apricots, citrus – orange peel, mandarine, grapefruit peel, floral – honeysuckle, orange blossom, tropical fruit – unripe banana, secondary flavours of oak – vanilla, tertiary flavours of honey, candied orange; high acidity; medium+ alcohol; medium+ body; oily texture; long finish.
Conclusion: Very good – this is a complex wine, with a spectrum of well-defined flavours and aromas, across primary, secondary and tertiary characters. The intense flavours are supported by the oily texture of the wine, and balanced by the vivid acidity, adding refreshing quality. The long finish brings the overly bitter flavour stopping this wine from being outstanding.
Bottle ageing: Suitable for bottle ageing – the evidence of the tertiary aromas and flavours shows that the wine is developing. And it has the intensity of the flavours, the high acidity and the length that can support further ageing.
Frankland Estate Gruner Veltliner 2020
Colour: Pale lemon
Nose: Medium+ intensity of primary aromas of citrus -lemon, line, grapefruit peel, mandarin, stone fruit -unripe apricot, unripe white peach, floral – wite blossom, other – wet stones
Palate: Dry, with medium+ intensity of primary flavours of citrus -lemon, line, grapefruit peel, mandarin, stone fruit -unripe apricot, unripe white peach, floral – wite blossom, other – wet stones; high acidity; medium+ alcohol; medium body; medium+ finish.
Conclusion: Good – the wine has moderate complexity, with aromas and flavours dominated by the well-defined citrus fruit, with hints of stone fruit and florals. The flavours are overpowered by the acidity, leaving the impression of sourness and disappearing fruit and rendering the wine angular. The finish is moderate and refreshingly zesty, however, the flavours are one-dimensional and lack substance.
Bottle ageing: Not suitable for ageing – the wine is youthful, with bright fruit being the highlight of this wine. The high acidity may support ageing, however, lack of concentration and substance prevents this wine from being able to age for more than 3 to 5 years, when it starts losing its attractive youthful character.
After writing this tasting note, I checked what was written about this wine on the Frankland Estate’s website. I got surprised when I saw that wine was awarded 95 points by James Halliday. Clearly, the Australian critic thought that this wine was above good. However, I quickly noticed that Halliday’s rating was published in August 2019 so it must have been made after tasting the 2018 vintage, and not the 2020 one.