Petra Unger Gruner Veltliner is crisp, full-bodied

March 3, 2014
Petra Unger

Drop everything and go to Snooth to learn how to buy some Chateau Cantenac Brown Margaux 2009. These are advertised at Buckleys for $24. This is a 92-point 3rd Cru Classe Margaux that will be drinking well in 2017. Also keep in mind my admonition from last week. Bordeaux prices are finally taking a breather and backsliding. This means anything not rated above 96 points is going to get whacked. Probably the Grand Crus will hold up as well. If Europe and South America continue to lag economically, these markets will continue to soften. The Chinese, who had been buoying the expensive wine market, have been very smart shoppers, and they appear to be keeping their powder dry recently.

”The Roberts Court” is a well-written and interesting book by Marcia Coyle. I have a minor issue with this early a read on Roberts Court since Roberts, born in 1955, probably has years to go, if justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia are any yardstick, but it is a good start.

There is little doubt the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is going to make “The Roberts Court” into an historical highlight as did Marbury v. Madison cement Chief Justice John Marshall and the case for judicial review. I’m suggesting that regardless of your political bent, this is a worthwhile read and a precursor to the unfolding of a long political dispute. PPACA will be in the court for a while.

If you wish to try a 93-point white for around $12, check out Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2012 from Marc Olivier. Olivier is one of Loire’s top vignerons, and this lovely wine, made from Melon de Bourgogne, is one of the best of recent vintages.

Terrific with oyster and other shellfish, it is pale green, opens to lime, green apple and briny mineral notes with an undertone of dried flowers and lemon zest. A full-bodied wine with ripe but acid notes on the palate; the citrus repeats, and I thought I detected some pear, although no one else mentioned it. It has a very long, clean, acid finish.

This is natural-made wine, hand harvested and immediately pressed. Olivier claims there is nothing added to aid vinification, using naturally occurring yeast in stainless fermentation. Olivier holds the wine in the stainless for from several months up to three years. There is a great deal of care put into his product.

Muscadet, although it is white, cellars extremely well when properly made. The 2012 should drink well into 2020, at least, when stored in a cool, dark place with necks facing down. Buy a case, and you should get home for $135 or less.

Gruner Veltliner for Gru Vee people should look into Petra Unger Gruner Veltliner 2012. Petra took over the family farm in 1999, and the wine has improved from there. She is no stranger to hard work. The 2012 are crisp but somehow full-bodied with apple, grapefruit, pear and lychee aromas and flavors. These are accented by herbaceous notes and white pepper highlights expected from Gruner. You can buy these priced under $140/case. I’ve seen it for $9.99.

Arrowood Sonoma Chard 2011 just crossed my screen on sale. RP named it a 90-point, $25 Chardonnay. Arrowood is fairly consistent, usually rating at 87-88 points, and sells in the $13-16 range. The RP write-up gave it a bump. A good QPR right now in the under-$15 range; lime, white flowers and minerals with a touch of oak in the far background.

There has been a bunch flacking Cotes du Rhone St. Joseph in the mid $20s. I’m no big fan, and they don’t usually rise too much in price. So, if you wish to sample one, don’t go for the vintage du jour at $20 when you can jump on a 2009 for $23. Avoid the 2010. See ya next week!