Monday, November 2, 2009

Ecker Niederosterreich Gruner Veltliner, NV

As one reviewer said, this is "a wine to drink, not to taste." Even the packaging is appealingly unpretentious: a simple liter bottle similar to that used for mineral water with a basic inexpensive screw cap. No ceremony here, but once you open the bottle the excitement begins. The color is very light; the aromas and flavors are as airy as a summer breeze. Delightful fragrance of spring flowers and green fruits. Actually, looking for descriptors lessens the delightful drinking experience this wine offers. It's fresh and brisk with penetrating flavors; perfect with vegetable oriented meals or spicy food. And I also like the size (25% more wine) and price ($8.99 at Village Corner in Ann Arbor).

The Ecker family have made wine at their 20 hectare estate near Krems in Austria for more than 300 years. The porous, sandy loess soil is ideal for Gruner Veltliner, and this area to the northwest of Vienna has the deepest deposits of loess soil in Europe. If you're not yet familiar with Gruner Veltliner (or "Gruve" for short), this wine is a good place to start.

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