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What our expert thought of Rabl, Grüner Veltliner, 'Langenlois'

the tasting

The Tasting

In the glass this is a fairly pale lemon colour.  It doesn’t look like a wine that’s seen much skin contact, but then Gru V is quite a pale grape.  The green tinge is typical of the variety, as you might guess!
And there’s much more greenery on the nose, which nevertheless smells distinctly ripe compared to most Gru V.  Granny Smith apples lead the charge, supported by limey citrus.  Then there are those intriguing vegetable notes that this grape is famed for: cucumber, celery and green peppers.  It’s herby too, with the aniseedy scent of tarragon or lovage.  It’s a fascinating nose.
Dry but not bone dry, this has juicy high acidity that is amply balanced by green apple and Galia melon fruit.  Just like on the nose, the fruit has a vegetable edge to it reminiscent of celery or cucumber.  Lovage might be a better descriptor: people say it tastes like “a combination of celery and parsley, but more savoury”.  It’s one of my favourite herbs but annoyingly hard to find.
The wine is medium-bodied but backloaded, putting on weight and intensity in the mouth.  Indeed the afterpalate has this intriguing peppery sizzle, rather like the effect of eating watercress.  Austrians call this Pfefferl, and it’s regarded as the grape’s calling card.  Hold the wine in your mouth a while to experience it.
That peppery spice is especially evident on the mouthwatering, slightly warming finish, which also has a mineral element to it, as if the watercress has been dipped in celery salt.  The finish goes on and on, and eventually leaves a stony texture in the mouth that suggests lees-aging, or perhaps a prickle of tannin from skin contact.


Gruner Veltliner is one of my favourite varieties, and this is a super example: better than the ones I normally buy for myself, in fact!  It’s weightier and riper than the ones I’m used to, but still shows the classic characteristics of the grape.
I've tried splashing out on more heavyweight examples in the past, but I found them too extreme, preferring the lighter wines at around 11.5% to 12%.  I suspect I was drinking the expensive ones too young: the more full-on versions of this grape (like Smaragd wines from the Wachau region) are reputed to age as well as top white Burgundy.
This wine cleverly achieves some of that weight and intensity while still being approachable young.  In fact it was so delicious even on first opening that I found myself drinking it for pleasure, rather than tasting it and writing notes as I was supposed to.  It took lots of willpower to leave enough in the bottle to film the video!

Tasting notes

clear pale+ lemon, green hints

Intensity medium, ripe for Gru V

Aromas orchard fruit (Granny Smith apple), citrus (lime), green vegetable(cucumber, celery, capsicum), herbs (tarragon, lovage)

Development developing

Sweetness dry

Acidity high-

Body medium, backloaded

Intensity medium++

Flavours orchard fruit (green apple), tropical fruit(Galia melon), citrus, celery/cucumber/lovage, peppery spice (watercress)

Length long

Flavours spice (white & black pepper, watercress), mineral (celery salt), ends on stony texture (lees?, touch of tannin?)
Other notes
Unoaked. Weightier & riper (& more crowdpleasing) than my usual Gru V but still classic. Very moreish.

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