Around 90% of the Grüner Veltliner produced in Austria is sold and drunk in three countries : Austria, Switzerland and Germany. This makes it difficult to be able to speak about this wine on a global level.
This is the challenge which LenzMark set himself with his New Chapter project, pure Grüner Veltliner, produced in the lower region of Austria called “Niederösterreich”.
The wine is produced from a selection of 15 different plots owned by Markus Huber partnered by Lenz Moser, Austrian winemakers since 1610.
The selection comes from an area that spreads over 60 hectares with diverse altitudes and exposure to the sun, it is from here that the careful work done by Markus and Lenz allows them bring grapes which are healthy and with great technological and phenolic values to the winery.
We are 70km from Vienna and the project oversees the production of 50,000 bottles and10,000 Magnums per year. A truly impressive number. The Grüner Veltliner is the only label produced in the winery and Lenz Moser assured me during a virtual tasting last week that this won’t change over the coming years.
For the production of this wine the grapes are de-stemmed and loaded into the press where they stay for around 6 hours for the skin maceration before being pressed and moved into steel vats. The must obtained is brought to a low temperature and undergoes clarification and consequent racking within 24 hours of the grapes being harvested.
At this point, after slightly raising the temperature of the must to 12-14 degrees Celsius the special yeasts are added, ones which are often used in the Champagne region. The fermentation lasts between 20 to 25 days, when the wine is dry and doesn’t present any sugar it is moved in to French oak barrels.
The wine produced is of medium olfactory intensity and has a good polyphenolic profile.
When comparing the 2020 and 2021 vintages it is evident they have very different characters. The first is much more polyphenolic showing a slightly raw profile with ripe fruit and notes which are reminiscent of the sensory sphere of warm yellow and orange shades. The second is more captivating, it has a greater density and creaminess with an enriching spiciness and a very hot finale.
See below the notes for the wines tasted during a virtual tasting together with the owner Lenz Mosed and organised by the Italian distributor Meregalli:
New Chapter Gruener Veltliner 2020. An elegant wine with mixed nuances of white flowers such as magnolia, calendula, jasmine, acacia blossom and slightly un-ripe banana on the nose which gives it a lively tropical character. Decisive in character in the secondary profile showing notes of yellow peaches and ripe apricots. Full bodied, a fat structure of optimum persistency on the palate and a shining finale which demands a return to the glass. The first vintage for Lenz Moser and Markus Huber’s new project. Drink now or hold.
New Chapter Gruener Veltliner 2021. Precise and very clear in the profile, luminous, showing notes of green apples, white peaches, lemon rind, kiwi and chopped lime. The background shines with energy and characcter, rich with wild thyme, rose petals and citronella. Full bodied, a creamy structure of notable precision and gustatory quality and a juicy, decidedly vibrant finale whose fluidity makes the wish to return to the glass it’s main weapon. Wow. Drink now or hold. 50,000 0.75cl bottles and 10,000 1.5l bottles are produced.