Two Takes on Ott's 2017 "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner

This is not the first time I've shared my love of Grüner Veltliner, and it certainly won't be the last. Luckily I'm not alone in the Grüner Fan Club™. My friend Adrian Prieto of @wino_dino_ fame shares an appreciation for this yellowish-green grape, too. He's joining me in reviewing this bottle because if there's anyone who loves Grüner more than me, it's him. In fact, I just decided he's the President of our new club. (Congrats, Adrian!)

By the end of this post, we hope that Weingut Bernhard Ott's 2017 "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner inspires you to be a card-carrying member of Grüner Fan Club™, too.


Need a primer on Grüner? Check out Wine Folly.

Five Things to Know About Weingut Ott and "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner

Before we jump into our notes, let's talk a little bit about the wine, where it came from, and who made it.
  • The Ott family has been making wine in Wagram in Lower Austria since 1889.
  • They hand harvest their organic, biodynamic grapes.
  • "Am Berg" means "from the mountain"—an ideal name for this fresh, mineral wine.
  • The grapes for this wine come from loess soils in Feuersbrunn.
  • It was fermented in stainless steel and aged on its lees until February after the vintage.

Adrian's Notes

Appearance
Clear/translucent. Not cloudy.

Nose/Aromas
Clean, crisp, airy, light-on-its-feet fruit. Blind, might go dry Riesling based on nose. Touch of lemon zest. After being open a day, and in the fridge, more stonefruit/peaches are slowly coming through.

Palate/Mid
Slightly chalky, stone, limestone gravel, flinty Chablis-like crushed stone. Squeezed citrus/lime, mid and finish. Light body for a Grüner. Nice acidity, medium to me as it opens up. But wouldn’t consider it high acidity. Keep in mind though, I’m used to some screaming high acidity from some Finger Lakes Rieslings, which is what my palate is used to at times. Alcohol: Regular 11-12% for a Grüner, to be expected.

Balance of fruit and acid develop with opening more. Low tannins, which I’m fine with for Grüner. Finish lingers for a while at medium to me, again, which is fine for a Grüner.

My Notes

Weingut Ott's 2017 "Am Berg" reminds me why I love Grüner: it's a well-crafted, clean, fresh wine with cool-climate terroir and bright acidity. There's nothing fancy going on here—it's just a good wine. As Adrian noted, it significantly evolves after first opening. On day 1, it was all lemon and white pepper. By day 2, it showed more fruit and yeast, which helped mellow and round out the bitterness and acidity. (Qualities I love in Grüner, but that require balance.)

Appearance
Clear, pale, lemon.

Nose
Clean, medium intensity, youthful.
Aromas: Lemon pith, grapefruit, Bosc pear, ginger, white pepper, chalk, touch of yeast.

Palate
Dry, med+ acidity, no tannin, med- alcohol (11.5%), medium body, med+ intensity.
Flavors: Bosc pear, lemon juice, ginger, white pepper, touch of yeast, chalk, slight bitterness.

Finish: Medium+
Readiness: Drink now.

You can purchase the Am Berg cuvee for $20 from Chambers Street Wines, or if you'd like to try another one of their wines, the Der Ott cuvee is $34 on wine.com.

Thanks Valerie Kathawala for introducing me to this wine, and many others! You can read her in-depth article about Weingut Bernhard Ott on Grape Collective.

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