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Monday, November 21, 2011

Birthday Barolo and an Exciting Roter Veltliner

It’s November 21...which means today I’m another year older.  But fortunately I’m still getting proofed, even after mentioning that I’m a sommelier, so perhaps I don’t quite look my age.  Tonight for my birthday dinner, I’ll be opening a 2005 Sacco Barolo, about which I’ll post my tasting notes later on this week.

2005 Sacco Barolo

Last night I tried something fun and new - it seems I can’t go to Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique without finding something I’ve never tried before.  This was the 2009 Leth Roter Veltliner from Wagram, Austria.  I know it sounds like Gruner Veltliner, but in fact the only thing the two grapes have in common is their place of origin.  They’re not related - in fact, not much is known of Roter Veltliner’s parentage.

2009 Leth Roter Veltliner

The Roter Veltliner is a pale yellow/straw color and a bit viscous, with soft aromas and characteristics of citrus including orange and grapefruit, orchard fruit (particularly a soft apple note), but mostly tropical fruit including coconut and pineapple and something I couldn’t quite pinpoint, as well as a cool mineral characteristic and very soft spice.  The wine is a bit on the exotic and unique side and unlike anything I’ve tasted before.  It has enough acidity to feel clean and make it food-friendly, but a somewhat sweet taste that masks the acidity slightly.  It was paired with grilled mahi mahi and my own risotto recipe.  At under $20 here in NY, it seems like a good value for an exciting and elegant wine.

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