Friday, November 13, 2009

Country Mix 106.8fm WineSpot Funky Whites 4th November 2009

Today we looked at something different and a little bit funky in White wines.

The white wine options can at times appear to be a rolling sea of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. There are plenty of other interesting and tasty white wines available and so to alleviate the Marlborough Sauvignon seasickness, we tasted a groovy Gruner Veltliner from Austria and a funktastic Viognier from the Rhone.

Mas de Libian Viognier 2007 RRP 15.95
Viognier is a rather interesting grape mainly associated with the Rhone Valley.
(That’s a bunch of Viognier grapes from the Mas de Libian vineyards in the photo!)
Its often described as a “white wine for red wine fans” in that it has lots of aromatic character, plenty of flavour and is not too dry. The good ones have peach or apricot fruit character, a mellow honeyed texture and a nice mineral/spicy twist. This one is really good and is made by winemaker Helene Thibon. We’ve been importing Helene’s wines since the 1998 vintage and the quality and consistency is really excellent. Her white is very good but her red Cotes du Rhones are even better! The wines are organic too which is very nice to know.

Domaine Wachau Gruner Veltliner 2007 RRP 16.95
A bit of mouthful this wine both in name and character! I’ve heard this wine described as Gru. V. for short and I have to admit I do find it fairly groovy as white wines go. I spent a weekend in Vienna last February exposing my palate to the joys of Gru. V and was well impressed! The Austrian home market snaffles up most of the production of this wine so we don’t see too many offerings on wine shelves here. The ones I’ve tried so far remind me of peaches, citrus fruit and minerals and there’s always a fair whack of spice or pepper there aswell. Excellent dinner wines they really come into their own with food.
I tried this wine in a Korean restaurant in Vienna, with Beef Bulgogi and all I can say is Wow..what a combo! Bulgogi is a stir-fry beef and veg dish that you cook up yourself (they have a little oven hob in the middle of the table!) and it’s a great bit of craic cooking up a storm in the middle of a busy restaurant!

The grapes for this wine are grown on steep terraces and its another one of those wines I get excited about in terms of that “licking a stone” idea. You can certainly sense the soil or terroir in the mineral flavours and aromas of a wine like this..Groovy Baby..
You can listen to my weekly winespot every Wednesday morning between 10 and 11am on Country Mix 106.8fm.