Blind Tasting yields excellent Results for Austria
Grüner Veltliner has been recognized to be a white grape capable of producing wines with a richness, profundity, complexity and ageing potential equalled only by great Riesling and Chardonnay. “It seemed a logical choice to compare the greatest Grüner Veltliners and the greatest Chardonnays,” says Jan-Erik Paulson, “especially as the two can often have very similar aromas. Both are good food wines, and both reflect their terroir, though Grüner Veltliner often shows more fruit and freshness than Chardonnay.”
The tasting, which was attended by wine journalists, importers, and sommeliers from leading London restaurants, comprised six flights of prestigious Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay, classed into three vintage categories. The results were astounding.
Seven of the first ten places were occupied by Austrian wines, with Knoll, Bründlmayer (2x), Velich, Prager, Loimer, and Freie Weingärtner Wachau, beating an international field including famous names like Louis Latour (Burgundy), Gaja (Italy), Mondavi (California), and Baron Thénard (Burgundy). The highest-rated Chardonnay of the tasting, on place three, was the Chardonnay Tiglat 1997 by Velich (Burgenland, Austria).
The first place was awarded to a 1990 Grüner Veltliner "Vinothekfüllung" Smaragd, Knoll (Wachau, Austria) with an average rating of 18.09 points, followed by a 1997 Grüner Veltliner "Ried Lamm", Bründlmayer (Kamptal, Austria) with 17.78 points. The first non-Austrian wine in the rating was a 1998 Byron Chardonnay, Nielson Vineyards, Mondavi (California) at place five. Astonishingly, all three categories of wines tasted were won by Austrian wines.
|John Avery||Averys of Bristol|
|Bill Baker||Reid Wines and Conran restaurants|
|Stephen Browett||Farr Vintners|
|Richard Ehrlich||Independet on Sunday|
|Brett Fleming||BRL Hardy|
|Matthew Jukes||Daily Mail and Bibendum restaurant|
Ransome's Dock restaurant
|Jason McAuliffe||Sommelier, Chez Bruze|
|Steve Pannell||BRL Hardy|
|Jan-Erik Paulson||Paulson Rare Wine|
|Jancis Robinson||Journalist, Financial Times|
|Gordon Roddick||The Body Shop and vigneron|
|Anthony Rose||The Independent|
|Hugo Rose||Lay & Wheeler|
|Charles Taylor||Charles Taylor Wines|