Wine of the Month for October – Gruner Veltliner ‘Alte Reben’ 2010 (Nigl) – 13% –   £15 (UK)


As Summer draws to a close, I thought I’d try a summer acquisition made a couple of years ago, when staying near Krems on the Danube in Austria. This grower is above (north) of Krems in Seftenberg, and is well worth a visit if you are in that beautiful, and surprisingly hospitable part of the world. This grower’s wine is sometimes in Gauntley’s Nottingham.

Nigl prides himself on strict grape selection of healthy fruit, which permits overnight skin contact and then enhanced intensity of flavours in the resultant wine. He makes 5 or 6 dry Grüner Veltliner, by vineyard name – and I think this is his last Old Vines cuvee, the Alte Reben now being vinified into specific Vineyard Cuvees.

It has citrus and grapefruit on the nose, with strong minerality and then a floral note going from elderflower to honeysuckle. The nose somehow combines young Riesling and Old Chenin – quite a prospect.

Later more herbaceous and fruity elements appear too – red fruit as well as exotic elements like mango.

The palate is rich, but with a steely mineral acidity that brings to mind pink grapefruit. There is a spicy touch, strong clean acidity and a honeyed hit.

All together an amazingly complex package evolving and highlighting different elements by turn – the acidity – the vegetal notes – green peppercorns – mango – dark fruit – mineral notes – a hint of frizz…

This process is helped by food, (in my case roast salmon) where the acidity coped well and the fruit and richness in the wine combined with the strength of flavour in the dish.

All in all, a long and complex delight, at its best now and thoroughly enjoyable.

Ratings:     Quality: 17/20               Value: 17/20