As warm weather approaches and sipping wine al fresco is imminent, refreshing and citrus-forward Grüner Veltliner from Austria should be at the top of your list. This iconic variety runs the gamut from serious and ageworthy to well-priced and quaffable. Its searing acidity and delicate yet charming floral and citrus flavors are just waiting to usher in warmer temps. Try these picks, all for $20 or less.
Forstreiter 2019 Ried Kremser Kogl Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal); $17, 93 points. Yeast and salty miso are the chief notions on the nose. The palate adds pepper and wonderfully vivid, slight spritz to the slender but concentrated body while lemon brightness highlights the purity. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. Editors’ Choice. —Anne Krebiehl MW
Fischer 2019 Ried Zanzl Grüner Veltliner Federspiel (Wachau); $20, 92 points. Citrus freshness melds into savory, slightly funky yeastiness on the nose. The palate then focuses on a yeasty core that hides lovely, miso-like saltiness and herbal savor in its recesses. Above that is refreshing juiciness of lemon and Mirabelle plum yielding a lovely combination of depth and ease. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. —A.K.
Winzer Krems 2019 Edition Chremisa Grüner Veltliner (Niederösterreich); $20, 92 points. Notes of fresh yeast blend with hints of cut green pear on the appetizing nose. The palate has that same salty, yeasty tanginess but adds a whole load of white pepper spice. All is held in a tight, textured frame where zesty freshness and saltiness form the long finish. Multiple U.S. importers. —A.K.
Anton Bauer 2019 Gmirk Grüner Veltliner (Wagram); $18, 91 points. The nose is subtle but intriguing in hints of ripe pear flesh, yeast and nuttiness. The rounded palate sweeps these notions up in its rich, smooth texture but guides them with an unfailing edge of zestiness. A lovely combination of emollient generosity and freshness with a dry, salty finish. KWSelection.com. —A.K.
Laurenz V. 2019 Friendly Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal); $20, 91 points. Pear drop and freshly cut Conference pear peel fill the nose with fruity, easy freshness. It is this fresh, vivid bright fruit that takes center stage on a creamy, smooth and slender palate. It shows some of the varietal pithiness towards the dry finish. Folio Fine Wine Partners. —A.K.
Dürnberg 2019 Falkenstein Grüner Veltliner (Weinviertel); $15, 90 points. Peardrop and lemon zest notes pervade the nose with fruity freshness. The palate immediately trumps with zesty concentration and vivid freshness that has a lovely tinge of juicy tangerine. The finish is dry, fresh and clean. Multiple U.S. importers. Best Buy. —A.K.
Pratsch 2019 Grüner Veltliner (Niederösterreich); $14, 90 points. Ripe pear on the nose comes with touches of honey and yeasty. The palate is easy, dry, vivid and savory, with lifted notions of pear and lemon. The finish is vivid and fresh. Winesellers, Ltd. Best Buy. —A.K.
Josef Bauer 2019 Grüner Veltliner (Wagram); $12, 89 points. Notions of peardrop, freshly cut green pear peel and and creaminess create a lovely, fresh, appetizing nose. The palate then majors on that creamy but fresh mouthfeel, rounding out the pear flavors with slender smoothness. The finish is dry and bright. Siema LLC. Best Buy. —A.K.