Although we have already had one or two wines from Austria on the table here, we are still missing a representative of the country’s most important white grape variety. With over 14 thousand hectares and thus almost half of the area under cultivation for white wine in the country, Grüner Veltliner is an important mainstay of Austrian viticulture. The bottles today come from Johannes Zillinger in the Weinviertel region. He took over responsibility on the estate in 2012. The vines are farmed ecologically and as close to nature as possible, and not just since Johannes Zillinger took over but for over 35 years. We drink a bottle of 2019 Grüner Veltliner and a bottle of 2019 Muskateller from the Velue line. This is the entry point to the range, which has been relaunched with the 2020 vintage in which the wines are now called JZ.velue. The wines are pleasantly light with around 11% alcohol, are meant to be fun and typically represent the varieties and style of the winery. They are fermented spontaneously through the entire range, as far as possible with no intervention in the cellar and little or no sulfur added.
We start with the Grüner Veltliner and it starts spicy with a bit of smoke. In addition, there is a note of freshly mown grass and very little fruit on the nose. On the tongue, the Veltliner is nice and tight with a decent pull. The smoke that we have in the nose, it does not arrive here. Instead, the wine is herbaceous with a nice spiciness out the back, which, a small spoiler, becomes much more intense right after you’ve smelled the Muskateller. This is already really fun and drinks away nice and easy.
Overnight, the impression of smoke in the nose disappears, but the spice and green notes remain. They really are more in the direction of freshly cut meadow than in the direction of green peppers. You still have to search for fruit in the nose, while on the tongue there is now a fresh apple and some yellow fruit, and then towards the end also comes the peppery note that Grüner Veltliner so typically has. Uncomplicated and yet exciting.
With Gelber Muskateller, on the other hand, you don’t have to spend a long time looking for the fruit. It is there immediately. Yellow, exotic and mixed with elderflower. What then comes to the tongue tastes so clearly of passion fruit as I have not had it on the tongue for a long time. Not cheesy, just exactly like when you spoon the seeds fresh out of the passion fruit. The nose then becomes more complex with air. Behind the fruit come floral notes and also herbaceous, spicy flavors further in the background. The wine should actually be my natural opponent, I’m not at all into this intense fruit. But somehow this is actually just quite nice.
For me, no change takes place overnight. Canned lychee, elderflower and passion fruit. However, unlike the first evening, this is too much for me today. That calms me a bit but doesn’t reduce the quality of the wine one bit of course. People who like this more than me, will have a lot of fun with the wine. For me that is the case only occasionally. Maybe that’s why I don’t taste or smell any further development. The aromatics are just too much for me today. The better half, however, celebrates the taste and so the bottle is then emptied quite quickly nonetheless.