Sunday, September 13, 2020

Top-notch Gru-Vee on the double from Blank Canvas and Fred Loimer

Top-notch Gru-Vee on the double
 from Blank Canvas and Fred Loimer

Blank Canvas Grüner Veltliner Marlborough (2013), 13%,
 €22.99 WINEONLINE.IE LTD; Ely Wine Store, Maynooth; The Corkscrew

Colour is quite a rich gold, with the odd flash of green. Aromas are also strong (yet restrained), exotic fruits (mandarin is mentioned on the label). White pepper also mentioned but didn’t get that, though there was a teeny hint of the diesel one normally finds in Riesling. That spice is certainly present on the fulsome palate along with stunning fruit (mandarin, peach), an amazing mouthful, and an equally amazing and long-lasting finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Experienced winemaker Matt Thompson and partner Sophie Parker-Thomson are the duo behind Blank Canvas and they conducted a recent zoomed masterclass for Liberty Wines. Grüner Veltliner is a relative newcomer to the Blank Canvas portfolio. “It’s fun to make it, totally different,” enthused Sophie. Oak has been used but they affirm that “the subtle influence of new and seasoned French oak puncheons .. provide weight and texture”.

And you may well come across that GV pepper in their Syrah which is co-fermented with 7.5% Grüner Veltliner skins. Matt: “I preferred the white pepper character of the Grüner to the riper Viognier fruit.”

Matt continued: “When I discovered Grüner Veltliner was available for planting in New Zealand, I jumped at the chance to be among the first to produce it. Looking at the similarities between the Austrian and Marlborough climates I know this was a very exciting opportunity not to be missed.”  

The Thompsons have no vineyards, yet, and they choose very carefully where and who they work with. Note too that all their wines are single vineyard.

Check out more details from the interesting Black Canvas masterclass here…. Some very interesting remarks on the use of sulphur.

Loimer “Lois” Grüner Veltliner 2018, 11.5%, 
€18.70 WINEONLINE.IE LTD. The Wine Centre, Kilkenny. Ely Wine Store, Maynooth. The Corkscrew

Colour is an attractive light to mid gold. Moderately intense aromas, fruit (apple, peach) and a herbal spice. Spice and fruit too on the lively palate where a bracing acidity makes the taste buds stand up and pay attention. Very refreshing and Very Highly Recommended.

Interestingly, Fred Loimer uses oak also but to a much lesser extent than Blank Canvas. Here, fermentation is spontaneous, 95% in stainless steel tanks and just 5% in used oak barrels, 2-4 weeks by 20° – 22°C. Ageing: in stainless steel tanks on fine lees for 4 months.

Food recommendations: Rice and pasta dishes with white meat or fried fish
Fred is a biodynamic wine-maker and, interestingly from an Irish point of view, says that “Cow manure is the best you can find for composting.” Cows have their fans across the wine world.  During the series of Liberty Wines organised masterclass, endorsements for our bovine friends by Aurelio Montez (Chile) and Giovanni Manetti (Chianti Classico) were followed up by Fred’s.

“You cannot separate plants and animals, nature works in a holistic way, together they have composted over the years to create the soil we have today,” said Fred. Biodiversity is another essential plank. “Monoculture is a big problem today. It is necessary to create as much biodiversity as possible. Not one hundred percent vineyard but always bushes, trees and grassland over the whole area.”

“Herbicide is a disaster. There is life in our soil. Always something going on, even in a small square, something like 60,000 lives in there, all doing something. We cover our soils, green cover, blooming cover. Our own compost is getting better and we spread it in the autumn…”

Check out more details from the very interesting Loimer masterclass here, terrific insights into the nuts and bolts of the biodynamic vineyard.

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