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Ten Austrian Whites for $25 or Less

Add some spice to your wineglass with Austria's Grüner Veltliner grape

Posted: April 2, 2004

Austria's signature grape is the little-known Grüner Veltliner. This indigenous variety is widely planted throughout Austria's wine regions, alongside Riesling and other white and red grapes. As more Austrian wines reach the United States each year, a greater number of offerings are available from wineries that marry quality and affordable prices. Peach and grapefruit flavors are common from Grüner Veltliner, as is a spicy white pepper note.

-- Alison Napjus

Wine Score Price
E. & M. BERGER Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Kremstal Gedersdorfer Gebling 2002 90 $22
Ripe, and bordering on passion fruit flavor, with accents of grapefruit peel and tobacco. It's vibrant and harmonious, with a lingering, white pepper finish. Drink now through 2008. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. -- B.S.
HIRSCH Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Kamptal Kammerner Heiligenstein 2002 89 $24
A lovely Grüner Veltliner, striking a balance between ripe peach and grapefruit flavors, a juicy structure and crisp finish. Very open and accessible now. Drink now through 2006. -- B.S.
NIGL Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Kremstal Kremser Freiheit 2002 89 $18
Piquant acidity punctuates the grapefruit and legume flavors in this medium-bodied Grüner Veltliner. Rich and balanced, it leaves a fresh impression on the finish. Drink now through 2008. -- B.S.
PFAFFL Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Weinviertel Goldjoch 2002 89 $25
Rich and round, showing peach, vanilla and white pepper notes balanced by moderate acidity, but lacking the stuffing on the finish. Drink now. -- B.S.
SONNHOF Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Kamptal Langenlois Steinhaus 2002 89 $24
A crisp, focused white, evoking lemon, fennel and lentil notes. It's firm and light- to medium-bodied, picking up a grapefruit peel accent on the finish. Drink now through 2007. -- B.S.
SIGHARDT DONABAUM Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Trocken Wachau Atzberg 2002 88 $19
Good stuffing here with concentrated flavors of peach, vanilla custard and mineral. It's balanced and moderately firm. Not a blockbuster, but satisfying. Drink now through 2007. -- B.S.
HIEDLER Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Kamptal Löss 2002 88 $14
Fresh and lively, showing grapefruit, herb and mineral notes on a compact, lightweight frame, combining acidity and a grapefruit peel bitterness on the finish. Drink now through 2007. -- B.S.
LOIMER Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Kamptal Langenlois 2002 88 $19
Fresh and elegant, with grapefruit and white pepper flavors, medium body and moderate length. Good tangy aftertaste. Drink now. -- B.S.
ANTON BAUER Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Donauland Rosenberg 2002 87 $15
Rich initially, then the firm structure sweeps the palate with vibrant peach and nectarine flavors, ending with a hint of herbs and grapefruit peel. Medium-bodied. Drink now. 1,200 cases made. -- B.S.
WIENINGER Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Wien Herrenholz 2002 87 $16
Tropical, offering passion fruit, guava and peach aromas and flavors up front, then a white pepper note emerges. Like two different wines today, with bright acidity, then the tropical fruit comes back on the finish. Drink now through 2006. -- B.S.

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