A Tasting on Thin Ice: Gruner Veltliner vs. The World

Serpentine Gallery

Anyone who's met Lenz Moser of Laurenz V fame will know he's not shy of making bold statements. The man known in Germany as "The guy in the purple trousers" unfortunately deprived us of his usual choice of slacks but instead treated us to a blind tasting of 20 white wines amongst which he'd hidden a few vintages of Charming Gruner Veltliner.

(I know, disappointing eh?)

It was held in the newly opened Magazine restaurant at the Serpentine Gallery, a stunning space created by architect du jour, Zaha Hadid. Luckily, some of the other clientele seemed to have known Lenz would be dressed a little more conservatively and a veritable kaleidoscopic range of Gentlemen's smart-casualwear was on show.

The idea behind this tasting wasn't just to listen to Lenz wax lyrical about how amazing Gruner Veltliner is, although the guy is clearly passionate about the grape's potential, but to see how a group of people would benchmark them against other whites from around the World. His idea being that you can only truly judge a wine without having any idea of prestige or heritage.

There's clearly a lot of potential for Gruner Veltliner and Laurenz V. To taste them blind has, to me at least, shown they can stand up to more lauded areas and varieties especially when given a bit of bottle age. It's a lot easier to sell and believe in the product when it's this good.

For me, the highlight was undoubtedly trying a 1979 Spatlase Gruner, I had no idea they could age that long! While the surprise of the tasting had to go to the near unanimous dismissal of the 09 Chateau Pape Clement. On the basis that not buying a bottle of this 100 pointer I've saved myself £200, my finances are suddenly in much ruder health than they were yesterday, I think a glass of Gruner will do nicely.

Top 5 scores

Prinz Von Hessen, Dachsfilet 2011
Kalkofen Riesling
Charming Gruner Veltliner, 2009
Domaine Robert Denogent Pouilly Fuisse, 2011
Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling, 2012

Check our Events page for details on the upcoming Austrian wine tasting. Laurenz V. will be attending if you'd like to de-mystify Gruner Veltliner.

9th October 2013

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