My affection for Grüner Veltliner goes back about 10 years, to a meal with my colleague Bruce Sanderson at San Francisco’s Slanted Door. Bruce had ordered a “mystery” bottle of white (a game popular among the tasting staff here), and it turned out to be the best Grüner Veltliner I had ever had, from Austrian producer Schloss Gobelsburg. I loved the grapefruit, white pepper and lentil notes, and how well it paired with our food.
Since then, I’ve regularly sought out Grüner Veltliners. So while dining with some friends alfresco on a sunny day, I snapped the wine list shut as soon as I saw the Hofer Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel 2008 for $19. I’ve purchased this wine at retail for about $12, and love its distinctive packaging—it looks like a giant, 1-liter green glass beer bottle, right down to its crown cap. It was juicy and refreshing, with green apple and lime notes and that whiff of white pepper I love. I rated it 85 points, non-blind.
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