2018 Nigl 'Freiheit' Gruner Veltliner, Kremstal, Austria
Martin Nigl calls this Grüner Veltliner ‘Freiheit’ which means “freedom” because he sources the fruit from four different vineyards in the hills above the village of Krems – an area ‘believed to be some of the first privately owned vineyard land in the valley not controlled by the Church or feudal estate.’
It's a bottling that always over delivers for the price point and shows honest depth of fruit with classic Gruner Veltliner notes of white pepper on the finish more so than the nose, a nice green, herbal character and savory minerality. Or, to hear importer extraordinaire exclaim, "The first-ever “plus” for this—ha!—“entry-level” wine. It’s sternly loessy but not “sweetly” so; it even has power, and a lovely, nubby texture, with aromas and flavors of lentil and sorrel and barley, with a faro starchiness.” The Nigl family has been farming their vineyards in the shadow of the Senftenberg Mountains in the Krems Valley of Austria for over 200 years. In 1985, Martin Nigl convinced his parents they should be making their own wine instead of selling their grapes to the local co-ops. Thanks to Martin's skills, Nigl is now revered as one of the finest producers in all of Austria. The estate covers 25 hectares of vines planted 40% to Gruner Veltliner, 40% to Riesling, 4% to Sauvignon Blanc, 10% to Chardonnay and 2% to others.