Gruner veltliner, a variety typically associated with Austria, is still new to New York, with only a handful of folks growing it and making it into wine. But, the early returns have been interesting.

Much like riesling, gruner seems to tell the tale of the growing season in a very direct, concise way.

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2011 Gruner Veltliner ($20) — the winery’s first commercial gruner release — is more lithe than the 2010 bottling that I was lucky enough to taste, but still has me excited for the grape’s potential in the Finger Lakes.

Showing aromas of aloe, white pepper, lemon-lime citrus, and green herb there is just a hint of salinity here as well.

Medium-to-light bodied, the dry, refreshing palate brings similar characteristics, but in different proportions. The minerality is a bit more pronounced, both on the mid-palate and the finish. While it lacks just a bit of concentration on the mid-palate, the aloe and fresh-cut grass notes mingle with fresh citrus and peppery spice to create an interesting, expressive wine.

These are young vines and the winemaker obviously doesn’t have a lot of experience working with gruner. In time, this could be a standout for the winery.

Producer: Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 11.5%
Price: $20*


(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)