The Master of Red goes White: Moric Gruner

Posted by CrushWine

"Trust me, word of this wine has already reached French wine growing fanatics from the Cote d’Or to the high foothills of the Pyrenees, and before long, given the size of the vineyard, you may well consider yourself lucky to score a bottle." -David Schildknecht

If many consider Roland Velich the greatest red wine producer in Austria (and we would be in that camp), have no doubt that Velich also has a serious talent with white wine varietals.

Schildknecht's comment, above, alludes to the fact that Roland's Grüner has gone cult. Indeed, Roland's Grüner, while certainly one of the rarest Grüners in Austria, is also one of the greatest.

Sourced from very old vines in the chalky soils of St. Georgen, just outside of Eisenstadt in the Burgenland, this is a dense Grüner that, tasted blind, brings to mind nothing so much as the grand Chablis of Raveneau or Dauvissat (two producers that Moric, it's worth noting, loves). The wine is fermented in barrel and sees extended lees aging which gives it a density and textural richness which is stunning.

That said, the key, the magic (as with most all white wines really) is the balance, the clarity. As most wine drinkers have learned, richness, ripeness, is getting easier and easier to achieve. The brilliance of this wine is its brilliance - the fact that along with the detailed and diverse fruit flavors one salivates to the more stony, saline notes.

As powerful as the wine is, even in the riper 2009 vintage, the wine is transparent, with a cool salt and stone zing.

This is a blockbuster wine, a geeky Austrian gem, one of those wines that will only gain in nuance and complexity with age.

It is also, as mentioned, EXTREMELY rare.

For this reason, we'll keep it short today. I honestly don't know how much of this Roland makes, but it's not much. The U.S. rarely sees more than a few cases (most destined for restaurants) and we've never been able to secure much more than 6 to 24 bottles.

For anyone interested in the great whites of Austria, for anyone fascinated by Chablis, for anyone into wines of punch and purity, this should not be missed.

Sadly, there isn't enough wine for everyone who fits into the above categories, so we will likely have to allocate - but do give us your maximum order!

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf

Wine Director

Crush Wine & Spirits