Ingrid Groiss Gruner Veltliner 2018
Ingrid Groiss makes two undeniably scrumptious Austrian white wines. And they are in very short supply. And there are long and short stories why.
But when I’m drinking, I like a longer story (at least a little longer), so here’s the long version. Ingrid told me the story personally , yet I find that David Schildknecht, former reviewer for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, offers the most succinct version:
“Tapping into insights as well as vines planted by her grandmother, Ingrid Groiss began single-handedly growing and bottling wine in 2010 after a brief but frustrating attempt to bridge the generational gap by collaborating with her parents, who had always sold off their grapes.
“‘It’s a bit sad,’ she relates. ‘Breitenwaida is a mini-village with 200 inhabitants, but despite our diminutive size, we have four Kellergassen’ – the Austro-Hungarian-wide lanes lined with narrow-fronted cuveries and cellars – ‘and now I’m the only one who makes wine.’”
Now my personal take:
All of the wine for the Gemischter Satz (field blend) comes from a plot planted in 1951 by Ingrid’s grandmother. At that time, Grandma Groiss’ dream might have been to have a winery of her own. But that dream didn’t come true…until 61 years later. Ingrid, fighting against her parents and the tradition of selling off all their fruit to the local co-op, founded a winery from her grandmother’s vineyards. The results are outstanding.
Its bold aromas of white peaches, lily of the valley, flint, lemongrass, melons and ripe pear fill the glass. Yet the sheer ripe and caressing palate is pushed back afresh with an instantaneous attack of pure minerality, creating a dynamic interplay of fruit, minerals, and acidity that is haunting.
I would say more and try to relate this wine’s extraordinary flavors to its grape constituents. But Ingrid’s grandmother didn’t keep a record of what she planted, and only about half of the varieties have been identified. What I will tell you is that these old vines make amazing grapes, and Ingrid has turned them into amazing wine.
The Baritenpuechtorff Gruner Veltliner (excuse the big, big name – she is trying to give credence to the village where the wine is grown) is fresh, vibrant, mineral, filled with smells of sweet peas and amaranth, ripe green fruits like papaya, and a zesty, fresh finish of stone fruit and kaffir lime leaf. It drinks as easily as water, yet with the backbone of Chablis. It takes the springlike charm and easy diffidence of the basic and adds weight, drama and richness. Most of us taste Gruner Veltliner that is driven by its mineral backbone. But here is a dry white wine filled with power and fruit, and yet at low alcohol levels. Gruner Veltliner glories in this rich, dramatic style, and this wine is glorious. Don’t miss it.
Since my first tasting with Ingrid, my thoughts are never far from these bottles. They’re like stories you can’t forget. I taste a lot of wine, but I keep coming back to these.
Just one final, important note, asmany of you have been buying Ingrid’s wines for years. The 2017 crop in Austria was very short, and the wines are in even tighter supply than most vintages. This will likely be your final chance to get them all year.