KONRAD GRUNER VELTLINER 2011
VITICULTURE This organically grown, single vineyard wine is from our Landfall vineyard in Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley. Soils in this vineyard are classic stony loams formed on a terrace above the river and overlain by a densely packed layer of loess, a fine-grained wind-blown silt.
Konrad Wines organically grown Gruner Veltliner
Harvest Date: April/May 2011
Residual Sugar: 9 g/L
Titratable Acidity: 6.2 g/L
Packing: 12 x 750ml, screw cap closure
Variety: Gruner Veltliner
In its native home in Austria the most refined examples of Gruner come from similar soils, “producing wines that age gracefully and becoming more elegant and refined as the decades pass” say the local experts.
This year we refined our viticultural technique, pruning to two short canes then thinning these out to produce a very skinny open canopy allowing each leaf close to 100% sunlight exposure. We then took to the bunches, dropping nearly half the crop in order to balance the fruit loading to the naturally small canopy this site will allow. The bunches in our vines are generally quite large so as the fruit ripened we thinned again to remove any sign of greenness. We then began the painstaking process of monitoring the fruit, recording every nuance of flavour development in the fruit from veraison to maturity. This year we achieved excellent balance of flavour and structure at relatively low sugar a result achieved we believe by such rigorous vineyard management. We began harvest in mid April and picked over a range of flavour changes until mid-May.
WINEMAKING The winemaking was quite simple again this year. We whole bunch pressed the hand-picked grapes and spent an inordinate amount of time, and quite a bit of Czech pilsner, gently pressing to avoid the phenolics that skins from sun exposed berries contain.. The resultant juice was cold settled without enzyme, the pressings fined and returned to the same tank for cool, stainless steel fermentation. The later harvested portion was again whole bunch pressed but fermented at warmer temperatures in old French oak to enhance the wine’s rather generous texture. Once the ferments were complete we then left the wine on lees for a further 3 months to try to extract the “liquid stone’ character so sought after in its homeland.
TASTING NOTES At bottling the wine is an attractive mid-straw with green hues. The nose shows a pleasing array of fruit and mineral characters from pear, baked apple, fennel, white peach and raspberry. The ground white pepper signature is there but also is an intriguing minerality reminiscent of the smell of hot stones in a sauna. The palate is full bodied with impressive vinosity, a powerful mid palate crammed with yellow fruits; quince, grapefruit, honeydew melon and ripe gooseberry. We have left a trace of residual sugar to avoid austerity and left sufficient acid to give the wine length. This is an incredibly gustatory wine meaning it is one of the most versatile food friendly wines in the world. Think Riesling on steroids and you’re on the right track.
CELLARING POTENTIAL The best Gruner Veltliner has the ability to develop for decades. We have treated this wine with great respect so believe we have given it the best chance of ageing. So buy 2 cases, open a bottle a month for a year, then a bottle a year for the next 12, sit back and enjoy the journey.