A Great Representation of Austrian Grüner Veltliner

Today’s Story: Weingut Veyder-Malberg

Weingut Veyder-Malberg, established in 2008 by winemaker Peter Veyder-Malberg, is a relatively new estate and winery in the town of Spitz within the Wachau Valley of Austria. Peter studied Lithography in Munich in 1986 before wrapping up at the Business College at the Institute for Economic Development in Vienna in 1988, though he transitioned into wine while studying at the Napa Valley College of Viticulture in 1991. He also worked at Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa this same year. With a couple decades of winemaking experience under his belt, Peter turned to the Wachau and its steep, terraced vineyards to make wines of his own.

Peter’s philosophy starts with a focus on the land itself, particularly in the vineyards of the Wachau that were at risk of being torn out due to the incredibly labor-intensive farming necessary. Many of the vineyards in the Wachau are steep and terraced, requiring that all work be accomplished by hand. Peter started by acquiring plots with old vines aged 30 to 70 years and works exclusively with organic and biodynamic farming practices. When it’s time for harvest, Peter doesn’t focus as much on sugar levels but instead prioritizes pH levels to determine when it’s time to pick. Of course he looks at physiological ripeness of the fruit as well, but this focus on pH not only helps showcase the variety and terroir in a transparent fashion but makes the wines long-lived. All of Peter’s wines ferment with native yeast with no added enzymes, while the entire process is minimally invasive until a light fining for some of the wines at bottling.

Today’s Wine: 2019 Liebedich Grüner Veltliner

100% Grüner Veltliner; 12.5% ABV

The 2019 Liebedich Grüner Veltliner is pale yellow in color. The aromas are of medium intensity, with the nose showcasing classic Grüner notes of delicate green apple, ripe pear, honeydew melon, peach skin, honeysuckle, white pepper, and crushed gravel. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium intensity and the palate displays notes of white peach, Asian pear, lemon zest, flint, white pepper, white chocolate, and stony mineral. This dry white is light- to medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, and a medium length finish. This is a very nice Grüner and a solid representation of the variety, all while being easy-drinking and enjoyable.

Price: $44. I think this is a pretty fair price-point for this bottling. Even though it’s not incredibly intense or long on the finish, I find this to be a good representation and the quality is clearly very high. And I do imagine this only gets more expressive with age and a long life ahead. While you might find better “values,” this is a bottle to check out at some point in your Grüner ventures.

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