Nigl

No one would deny this estate’s inclusion among the absolute elite in Austria, and many observers wonder if there’s anyone finer. Extraordinarily transparent, filigree, crystalline, mineral-drenched wines of mindboggling clarity. Prices remarkably sane for world-class great Rieslings (compare to the best in Alsace!)

Nigl Brut label

Producer website

Available Wines

Nigl 2010 Grüner Veltliner ‘Herzstück vom Kirchenberg’ [6/750]

Normally this goes into the Piri, but it was so spectacular in 2010 that Martin vinified it separately. It’s the lowest five terraces below the church. Compared to the Privat this is a shimmering powerhouse, seriously green, the morning sun shining on a balsam forest; gorgeous spreading rivulets of juiciness on the palate. This has it all; astounding complexity and irresistible deliciousness, into a massively fruity finish.

Nigl 2011 Grüner Veltliner ‘Privat’ Senftenberger Pellingen [3/1500]

N.A.

Nigl 2012 Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben

A big wine to drink young while it has the fat to mitigate its 14% alc, and also enjoy its gorgeous primary aromas of cookie-dough and flavors of “secret” sweetness; peppery finish to a loessy GV at an apex of charm and grace—for the next 18-24 months.

Nigl 2012 Grüner Veltliner Privat Senftenberger Pellingen [6/750ml]

More Veltliner ordnance, 14.5% this time, but it’s creamy and exotic, neither vulgar nor bellicose; just massively salty and Sarawak-peppery with a stern buzzing finish that stops just short of the doorway to heat. Cask-sample, by the way, so it may seem less creamy in bottle.

Nigl 2013 Grüner Veltliner ‘Privat’ Senftenberger Pellingen [6/750]

There’s more to this but it’s harder to see, at least now. These wines need a few years to unfurl. The aromas are haunting, they pull you in, and there’s just more to the palate, some coiled quivering thing waiting to rise and burst. I imagined streamers of tropical fruit, herb-butter, cucumber, rhubarb… I honestly wonder if anyone could spend four or five days tasting Grüner Veltliners like these, and come back still insisting the variety is ancillary. Here I am excusing myself for offering five wines, but this wouldn’t at all be absurd if the wines had the stature they deserve. ~Terry Theise

Nigl 2013 Grüner Veltliner Rehberger Zwetl

Believe me, at this point I’m looking for reasons not to offer a wine. No one likes clutter. But you know, the moment I can walk away from a wine like this is the moment I walk away from this profession, because then the fire’s gone. Martin obtained this vineyard in 1999 but needed to replant, so this is the 2nd crop from what are now 6-year vines. It’s mica-schist with a loessy topsoil, unique among his vineyards. Another reason you should see it. This ’13 is really nettly and pointed, with classic boxwood GV aromas; the palate is like an herb pesto of lovage, savory, arugula, tansy, cress and sprouts, yet the wine is graceful for all its spicy determination. – Terry Theise

Nigl 2013 Riesling Dornleiten

CORE-LIST WINE. This wine revealed itself only after 2-3 minutes in the glass. It has chiseled precision. Every sweet green seems to be in it; herbs, but not “herbal,” verbena and balsam; Martin says wormwood. Fantastic pulverized mineral mid-palate. It has a German-like acidity of 8.1 g/l, but many Trocken Germans are lower than this. Look, you’re gonna breeze right through this at the tastings, but if you drank a glass I know categorically that by the second or third sip you’d be all “WTF??? This wine is nuts!”  ~Terry Theise

Nigl 2013 Riesling Hochäcker [6/750]

I had a feeling the fur would fly when we got to this wine. It has the kind of fragrance, you can’t be sure you’re not dreaming. White lilacs, quince, strawberry, ginger; the palate is the stuff of legend, a superb tactile mineral density below all that floral-herbal jazz, and the finish sets up base-camp on your palate. ~Terry Theise

Nigl 2014 Grüner Veltliner Senftenberger Piri

This tends to be the lost “middle-child” in the range, and I get it but it’s still baffling; the wine can be so good. This has a sensational fragrance; ivy, nettles, boxwood, balsam GV with “secret” sweetness and a fabulous mizuna/arugula cut; plumper from the tulip, racier from the Zalto, and lovely either way.  ~Terry Theise

Nigl 2015 Grüner Veltliner Freiheit (Kremstal)

Pending tasting notes.

Nigl 2015 Riesling Dornleiten (Kremstal)

An utter delight. Balsam, ‘cool’ shady sweetness, but what minerality! Such delicate solidity and focus, so fine-threaded; diligent, articulate and tasty. Certainly the best-ever vintage of this. — Terry Theise

Nigl 2016 Zweigelt Rose (Kremstal)

100% Zweigelt from the Kremstal; fermented in stainless steel to preserve the fresh, red fruit flavors.

Nigl N.V. Sekt Brut de Brut [6/750]

It’s the same as “Extra Brut.” And that wonderful 2010 is finally drunk up – what a wine that was. This is the first disgorgement (4/2016) of what will be many; he  isgorges it as-needed and says there’s “plenty” more. I was happily surprised how agile and creamy this was with such a short tirage, but it’s a Blanc de Noir in fact, mostly PN with Zweigelt. Stylish and delicious.