Lunch with Lenz today. Lenz Moser is a name you'll probably be familiar with: his grandfather established a very successful winery under the name, which got into financial difficulties in the mid 1980s and was sold. Lenz (the fifth) ran this company for a while, and then became manager of European operations for the Mondavis. He left this job when he got wind of takeover talk, and decided to set out on his own a couple of years back. His new focus is purely on Gruner Veltliner, of which he makes a range of three.
If Lenz can't be a successful wine producer, with his knowledge of both winemaking and the modern marketplace, then I don't think anyone can. The wines are impeccably packaged and very well made. They have slightly different personalities, and are subtly targeted to female consumers because women actually purchase something like 70% of all wine.
Friendly Sophie is rounded, accessible, generous and quite fruity, but transparent and fresh at the same time. Charming Laurenz is a bit more serious, with a bit of minerality and pepper spice, and good acidity. Singing Sophie is somewhere in between - a fresher, more zingy version of the Friendly Sophie, but still with a nice fatness to it.
Three very food-compatible wines which went with the Japanese-inspired fare at Cocoon on Regent Street (a stylish pad indeed).
For those interested, Sophie is Lenz' daughter, who was 11 when he conceived the project (they had a walk interrupted by a thunderstorm, during which they decided they'd like to make wine together - Sophie reckoned she'd like to take over the family business when she was 25 - now she's 16).