Nigl, Kremser Freiheit, Gruner Veltliner, 2005

I've noticed a certain minor lapse in posts recently and my only excuse is I'm coming up to my last days at my place of work for the past seven years and the overall effect is one of mindless sleepwalking so my faculties have been dull all around. Thus I'm forced to reprint something I posted on another venue last fall. I was in Lvov in the Ukraine on business, a fairly boring week wine wise and in just about every other sense except for a short snack at wine bar in the Vienna airport on my way back.

I re-read my post recently, trying to decide whether to open the bottle in question. Decided against it but realized I was very fond of the post.

Eight rounds of vodka on the first evening at Lvov conned me into thinking it would be a fun trip. But a quick reality check the next day showed dismal, grey weather and for my money a decaying city with vague flashes of what big money might do to it, if it hasn't started already (though I guess it does have a university or two and my Polish family say that's a good sign). Three days of trying to impart technical knowledge across a wide cultural gap and suffering through deadening boredom and lunatic drivers, I wanted a piece of my own world back and I found it at the Wine and More shop at the Vienna duty-free. Okay, not a great store, no great range, but it had a small wine bar and I ordered a glass of the Kremser Freiheit 2005 and a small platter of cheese and meat.

I've only drunk the Brundlmayer Gruner Veltliner and at a fairly mature age so this is my encounter with its young version. And I found to my dismay that I was totally unable to read it. This is a very tight, steely wine and it seems balanced but everything about it seems impacted into a tiny black hole and very little gets out. So it's got structure but most of the flavors seem buried inside. I've had more enjoyable barrel tastings.

I know I love Gruner Veltliner when it's mature so I don't want to give up on this wine and certainly Nigl has a reputation. Thus I bought a bottle (and ahem, I suffered too much to come home empty-handed) and my question is, what did I miss?

Originally posted on Stratsplace, Nov. 3, 2006.


Rory said…
Good work. I am all about whites lately, especially riesling from Alsace. Whites don't get enough love.


Sommelier from Chicago
2GrandCru said…
Patience, there will be something on a Gewurztraminer VT from Alsace soon.
Anonymous said…
You might have missed more exotic non-citric fruit and a dose of white pepper. My guess is this was overchilled.

As for now, I would wait a year or two before opening.