Weingut R & A Pfaffl, Grüner Veltliner Hundsleiten, 2011
One of the glories of being a wine amateur without an ounce of professionalism is the childish pleasure you can take in things that more knowledgeable folk take for granted. Recently for instance, I rediscovered decanting. Now, of course I do know what pouring a wine into a larger carafe for greater air exposure does in theory, but somehow, I had let the habit slip. After all, there isn't always time for these kitchen rituals. But the exceptionally rewarding Grüner Veltliner on review today showed me what I may have been missing, as decanting did it a world of good.
The first swigs of this very young wine straight out of the bottle were not promising: A heavy, awkward and withdrawn wine. After two hours in the wide-bottom decanter, out on the cool balcony, we found something very different indeed:
A deep, enticing smell of ripe apricots, herbs (no Grüner Veltliner deserves its name without the herbs), fresh walnuts, warm beeswax, Thai curry with coconut milk (there you go), even a little fresh wood, although this wine has certainly not seen new oak.
On the palate, very soft, beeswax again, not much acidity, but great mineral substance and honeyed fruit. If the palate had held up to the complexity of the nose, this would have been close to perfection. It does not quite, not all the way, but is still impressive. A powerful, but not overpowering companion for lemon-roasted chicken with a salad of endives, apples and walnuts.
I cannot praise this wine too highly, because not only is it objectively a very very good one, it was also personally satisfying, as it brought back an enjoyment of food and wine that had somehow eluded me for some weeks.