Gru-Vee Gruner 

A wine to pair with in-season asparagus

It may be a phonetic throwback to the '60s, but it's only been in the past dozen years or so that this Austrian white with the unwieldy name was dubbed Gru-Vee. Gaining a cult following back then, especially on the East Coast, its popularity has since exploded to the point where it has become a mainstream pick for many. With expressive spring green flavors and touches of white pepper, it's one of the few wines that pairs well with the fresh asparagus hitting the Treasure Valley now.

2015 Hugl Weine Gruner Veltliner, $15

Opens with a complex array of intriguing aromas that include floral peach, creamy melon and bright citrus, all backed by mineral, spice, clover, juniper, herb and spring greens. At first sip, there's a bit of tongue tickling spritz. The flavors are a mix of candied lemon, lime and blood orange, balanced by crisp acidity on the long finish.

2014 Ott Gruner Veltliner, $20

The nose is a rich combo of lemon curd, sweet lime, melon, tart apple and mineral. There's an impressive intensity to the tart and tangy palate. It offers peach, apricot, melon and green apple flavors with a bit of lemon zest on the lively finish. A step up from the everyday, easy-drinking Gruners.

2014 Pratsch Gruner Veltliner, $14

The light but lovely aromas include tangerine, peach and lime with touches of apple blossom, bacon fat and mineral. There's a good balance between the ripe fruit flavors and food friendly acidity. You get sweet melon, lemon, lime and a hint of tangerine. Like the Hugl, this comes in an oversized, one-liter bottle, making both great values.

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