If you already know that Austria produces lovely light-bodied reds – almost a third of its production – then go on, pat yourself on the back. Because most of us see Austria through the lens of Gruner Veltliner – the white grape it seems to monopolise. Not uber-cold like Germany to the North, Austria’s land-locked alpine valleys still provide the cool conditions for long ripening periods. This means neutral local whites such as Gruner do not become bland but slowly ‘fill out’ with gentle pear and stonefruit – fruit characters restrained or ‘transparent’ enough to showcase the deeper charms of balance, texture and mineral complexity.
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