21 Sep Please The Palate Wine of the Week: ACORN 2020 Grüner Veltliner, Alegria Vineyards, Russian River Valley
Grüner Veltliner is a grape typically grown in Austria and there are only approximately 150+ acres planted in California. One hundred of the acres are planted in Mendocino and less than 10 acres are planted in Sonoma. In 2017, ACORN Winery planted a field blend of Grüner Veltliner and now released their very first white wine, the ACORN 2020 Grüner Veltliner, Alegria Vineyards, Russian River Valley, the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Betsy and Bill Nachbaur have been making wine since 1990 when they purchased the 32-acre Alegría Vineyards. The property had eight-and-a-half acres planted to heritage grapes dating back to 1890 and then continued to carry on and expand the tradition of field-blending wines. There are more than 100 varieties planted in their vineyard, and until 2017, they were all red wine grapes. Then in 2017, they planted an Alvarinho Block and a Grüner Veltliner Block.
The Grüner Veltliner Block was planted as an homage to Bill’s grandfather, an Austrian native who came to California and worked in Napa County in the 1890s. Like the rest of the vineyard, the Grüner Veltliner Blocks follows the ACORN tradition of field blends and there is more than just Grüner Veltliner planted. In the Grüner Veltliner Block there are 4 clones of Grüner Veltliner, as well as Roter Veltliner, Traminer, Rotgipfler, Silvaner, Kerner, and 17 other grape varieties, including Ehrenfelser, Viognier, Furmint, Harrslevelu, Arnsburger, Faberrebe, Scheurebe, Wurzer, and more! The heritage of all of these grapes is a combination of Austrian, German, and Hungarian.
The ACORN 2020 Grüner Veltliner, Alegria Vineyards, Russian River Valley is a field blend but is made up of 80% Grüner Veltliner. The grapes are handpicked. Fermentation starts in stainless steel tanks and then spends time in neutral French oak. The wine has notes of apple, lemon, pineapple, wet stone, and herbs. On the palate, the wine has a lovely round texture that coats the palate and has chalky acidity. There is a beautiful mineral finish on the wine.
Only 75 cases were made of the ACORN 2020 Grüner Veltliner, Alegria Vineyards, Russian River Valley which retailed for $35. Sadly this vintage is sold out but the 2021 is coming soon!