Schloss Gobelsburg, Kamptal, DAC Reserve, Grub Erste Lage, Grüner Veltliner, 2010
Gruner Veltliner - GruVe for short - has such a slow maturity curve that I never had the patience to age any of the bottles I bought for longer than 5-6 years. I just figured aging wouldn't maker a dent anyway - "a nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat" situation. But Eldad Levy still had a few bottles for sale and I really missed the stuff, so I went out for a reunion and to sate some curiosity.
Gruner is a grape that handles heat well, the good specimens retaining a peppery freshness and a hint of lentil and celery even when fully ripe, at which point I often find melons and honey in the mix. In any case, heat is hardly what the grape had to deal with in 2010, which was a cold year. Grub is a great vineyard, a grand cru, in fact - and the Schloss Gobelsburg team was in great form in those years (and for all I know they still are, but I haven't drunk vintages more recent than 2012/3), so the wine doesn't lack for ripeness. It's a big, fleshy wine now, that develops light earthy aromas and, especially, flavors as it airs.
A fascinating, textbook experience.
Hirsch, Kamptal, DAC Reserve, Kammerner Lamm Erste Lage, Grüner Veltliner, 2011
Hirsch was always my favorite in Eldad's Austrian portfolio. As much as I love Schloss Gobelsburg - financial and storage considerations notwithstanding, I'd quite happily drink my way through the entire catalog - the Hirsch lineup consistently has extra zip and vividness. It's a skewered comparison, anyway - apparently 2011 was a much better year and Lamm is one of the two greatest crus in Kamptal. This is less earthy than the Grub, cooler and more vibrant, showing ripe melons and white pepper. The finish, though, overwhelms with notes of bitter pears that beg for food - in the back of my mind, I kept thinking prosciutto.