2021 Weingut Richard Walzer, Grüner Veltliner "Ried Wolfsgraben"
2021 Weingut Richard Walzer, Grüner Veltliner "Ried Wolfsgraben"

2021 Weingut Richard Walzer, Grüner Veltliner "Ried Wolfsgraben"

Kremstal, Austria 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$28.00

2021 Weingut Richard Walzer, Grüner Veltliner "Ried Wolfsgraben"

 Summer is underway, and that means our annual search for the Grüner Veltliner we’ll be popping all season long is, too. Weingut Richard Walzer’s “Ried Wolfsgraben” took the lead as soon as we tasted it, with its deliciously classic balance between zippy fruit and spritzy herbs. Pop it on the porch, at the cookout, or on a warm evening in, and it’s basically guaranteed to work. But it’s more than just a Swiss Army knife of drinkability. With its deep texture and mineral core, it’s also reminiscent of some seriously top-flight Austrian juice, bottles we’ve enjoyed well into their second and third decades. “Ried Wolfsgraben” is truly artisanal stuff, a single-vineyard bottling produced by a tiny family winery in miniscule quantities. It’s a delicious rejoinder to anyone who believes Grüner is nothing but a simple quaffer. Of course, it still comes with a price tag that lets you crack a bottle at a moment’s notice. No matter what situation you find yourself in this summer, Walzer’s “Ried Wolfsgraben” has you covered!

 The Walzer estate is located in the Kremstal, one of the “big three” of Austrian viticulture along with the Wachau and Kamptal. While it can be hard to differentiate stylistically between the three, we often find that Kremstal, with its heavier loess soils and grass-covered valleys splintering off the Danube river, produces an especially airy and high-toned style of Grüner. Today’s bottling hails from “Ried Wolfsgraben”, one of the Walzer family’s most prized vineyards, and it accounts for close to half the winery’s production. These 45-year-old vines produce an especially airy and pure style of Grüner. While more glamorous wineries in the Wachau and Kamptal might aim to wow with luxurious textures and ample botrytis, Walzer’s lacy Kremstal Grüner seems content to just wallop you with pulsing, crystalline pleasure and leave it at that. 

Richard Walzer runs a miniscule estate, and that’s the way he likes it. He farms barely more than three hectares and never plans to expand past five. That’s the most he feels he could do while still being involved in every aspect of production. Every vineyard Richard works is within a half-mile of the winery. Born in 1980 to a family of winegrowers, he struck out on his own in the 2010s, after logging time with SommSelect favorites like Sepp Moser and Buchegger. The “Wolfsgraben” vineyard is just “Kremstal” through and through: 45-year-old vines sit on gently sloping, terraced hillsides with southwest exposure, over deep loess soils, farmed meticulously and sustainably. 

A sip of Walzer’s “Ried Wolfsgraben” immediately conjures up the verdant majesty of the Kremstal. It pours a limpid silver with hints of green, and the nose reads like a checklist of what makes Grüner one of our favorite summer sippers: pops of bright citrus fruit, just-ripe white peach, white pepper, parsley and chervil, even a hint of crisp radish. Beneath it all, a cool, thrumming minerality calling to mind wet river rocks. The palate is bright and lively, with a hint of spritz to it, layers of creamy texture undergirding it. “Wolfsgraben” beautifully toes the line between summer-y and serious—perfectly drinkable for any warm-weather situation, but also worth savoring over a quiet dinner any time of the year. So be sure to grab plenty!

2021 Weingut Richard Walzer, Grüner Veltliner "Ried Wolfsgraben"

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