2015 Arnot-Roberts, Gruner Veltliner, Alfaro Family Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains.
This ultra cool two barrel Gruner from Duncan Meyers and Nathan Roberts at Arnot-Roberts comes from Richard Alfaro’s estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Corralitos, a cool climate Pacific Ocean influenced site, I had heard about, but had missed from the 2014 vintage, lucky enough I was able to get a bottle to sample from Alfaro (who also makes his own version), because Arnot-Roberts sold out this under 50 case production white almost instantly. Arnot-Roberts gets mostly Chardonnay from Alfaro’s Trout Gulch Vineyard, but couldn’t resist his small lot of a Gruner Veltliner when it came available, so too did Ted Glennon and Ian Brand for their Vocal Vineyards. This golden hued Gruner from Arnot-Roberts has the vintage’s concentrated character, but with wonderful vivid acidity and stylish almond oil bitterness that keeps things intensely fresh with green apple, lemon/lime, green melon (with a tangy rind), quince and kiwi fruits along with hints of hay/straw, wild fennel, dried basil and chalky wet stones as well as a leesy brioche and textual mouth feel, finishing with lingering spice, citrus flower and kumquat. Crisply dry and briskly vibrant, this is groovy GruVee that does it’s Austrian roots proud, I’m glad I waited a extra bit of time to try this as I feel it is now showing an extra dimension that might well have been lost when slightly younger, and while it’s racy and bracing throughout it does have impact, extract and presence on the palate filling out and gaining an intriguing depth and roundness without being flabby at all, impressive all the way. Arnot-Roberts, known for their cool climate Syrah(s) and almost Chablis inspired Chardonnay(s) also do an amazing Trousseau and Ribolla Gialla as well as their famous Rose of Turiga Nacional! Doubt there is any of this Gruner around, sadly, but in case you see it, get it!
($39-45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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