It’s a tussle between Hahndorf Hill and Lark Hill for the mantle as Australia’s original Gruner Veltliner producers (for the record Lark Hill were first), and both are now producing great wines. Gruners so impressively proportioned that you could close your eyes and imagine you’re in Austria, just with an Australian accent. Or such. Because wines have accents. What a dumb phrase. Anyway…
These two different Hahndorf Hill Gruner Veltliner bottlings are in a good place right now too. I like ’em both equally, though if pressed I’d probably take home the GRU for the sheer refreshment value. The complexity of the winemaking involved here is impressive, giving both these wines an extra dimension.
Hahndorf Hill GRU Gruner Veltliner 2016
Employs a variety of different picking dates, fermentation vessels, temperatures and yeasts. The kitchen sink. Numbers: TA 6.3g/L, pH 3.19, RS 2.1g/L. Water clear. This has cool ferment aromatics and some great varietal intensity, but with weight too. Green apple and celery Gruner character aplenty. Dry, crisp and tangy apple juice laden palate with superb acidity – this has a real tang to it! Long too. Such a pure wine, and has excellent acidity this year. Very good, with layers of flavour to have you coming back for more. Best drinking: 2017-2018. 18/20, 93/100. 12.8%, $28. Would I buy it? Yes.
Hahndorf Hill GRU 2 Gruner Veltliner 2015
Handpicked and wild fermented in barrel, this is the Smaragd equivalent for the Austrians playing at home. TA 5.8g/L, pH 3.26. Great aromatics. Doesn’t lose the grey rocks and pear fruit of the GRU Gruner. Finely textured palate is fresh and vibrant with just some leesy weight to give a nod to the winemaking. This is excellent Gruner, and the extra weight gives this plenty of interest. Maybe not as blindingly fresh as the normal GRU, but offer plenty. Best drinking: 2017-2019. 18/20, 93/100. 13%, $45. Would I buy it? Yes