We might have been in Walla Walla, and it might have been politically correct to start with a Walla Walla wine---but, hey, I'm sorry, you put some Gruner Veltliner in front of me, and Gruner Veltliner will be tasted.
And I've seen what happens when you put the Szigeti Sekt in front of people: they get all frenzied and start hogging the table, and won't let anyone else in, and then they run out. You know, standard for this bubbly.
So I got in line to be one of the first. After delicately elbowing two women who just wouldn't move out of my way quickly enough---did you know wine tasting can be a full-body contact sport?---I got my sample of Szigeti.
These guys do a great job with sparkling GV. It's full on bubbly, (fermented in the bottle) yet it maintains that true, precise nature of Gruner, with its mineral, celery salt, green pepper, citrus fruit and black pepper. Does that sound good to you? Who cares: it tastes good to me! (And I heard they ran out of Szigeti not long afterwards. Coulda told them that would happen. hmph)
But by then I had moved on to Weingut Stadt Krems Gruner Veltliner Kremstadt 2008. This winery is actually owned by the city of Krems ('Kremstadt') and holds separate parcels, from which they make classic Gruner (look up to above paragraph for the description of taste elements). Fine, fine stuff, a little creamier and softer, perhaps, than Wachau Gruner; maybe a little lighter, but still nicely focused, with lovely clarity of aroma and flavor.
Then on to the Loimer Kamptal Gruner Veltliner 2008. Fred Loimer's "Lois", his 'basic' GV, was one of my earliest introductions of Austrian GV, so I've always been fond of it. But this Kamptal bottling has significantly greater intensity, greater weight, and more presence in the mouth. (Kamptal ladies sing this song, doo dah, doo dah. Sorry, I get a little silly sometimes when the wine is this readily intoxicating---and I'm not talking alcohol.) Tightly structured, with loads of citrus fruit, pepper, and off-the-charts acidity, it's satisfying on every level possible.
Winebow Imports is now bringing in these lovely brands...and I just got news that they will be available in Oregon (Lemma Wines), so I am one happy Kremstadt/Kamptal Kamper.
Okay, now that my palate is sufficiently primed, I can move on to....Wait. What?...Oooh, look, a bus tub full of Austrian Rieslings!