Couple little playthings I found today–very similar price–one a very close local and, well… one NOT. Just couldn’t resist. The red-striped screw-top opened with a bit of barnyard bottle-funk, blowing off quickly to clear, slightly stemmy austerity in the nose, ashy with tiny honey-ridden points of tropical and stone-fruit. One thing for certain, they are easy to tell apart in the glass: the Californian a cloudy canary–the Austrian crystal-clear straw. The American far fuller and richer in bouquet, pumping chalky newsprint and farmyard savory in a package tinged ever-so-slightly in petrol exhaust and lily-floral. With ample air–and warming–the Kremstal POPS with pina colada, but never to extravagance. Both wines protect their inner feelings carefully, Gruner is never going to slay you with mind-boggling nuance a this age–it’s not Gewurztraminer or Chardonnay or even Chenin–the delicacy of exposure is most of its charm. Air-time on the Edna Valley merely causes its original joy to blossom to full wiry brilliance, thick with fruit and herbal edge.
In the mouth, Stadt Krems kills you gently, injecting its streamlined heroin in pure distinct doses, covering all bases with efficiency and steadfast ability, the citrus needle stinging, the burn of acid and angst trying to play down the forthcoming pleasure of ridiculously clean fruit, a bitter churn of energy elevating all senses into a supple finish of cellar and road and dry structure magnificently fruity. The Maidenstoen hits the palate quite like the nose: creamy and delicious, citrus and acid in the background, the California sunshine and bottom-loam imparting an almost umami formula to the mouthfeel. Chewy and dense, tannin is apparent mid-palate, bringing the mellow prick of green tea and oak leaves around to poke through orange blossom and melon.
These wines are like dog & cat cookie-cutters punching the same rolled-out dough. Something one thing shows in the entry, the other manifests in the finish. Something one seems to be missing, it miraculously grows in the postlude. Some things seemingly paradoxically opposed come together in unity under contemplation. Are they the same wines? FUCK NO. Is one better than the other? Another FUCK NO. An expectant showing from Austria and an over-whelming juxtaposition from California.
2019 WEINGUT STADT KREMS ‘Kremstal’ Gruner Veltliner Austria 12.5
2019 MAIDENSTOEN Gruner Veltliner Edna Valley San Luis Obispo CA 14.21