Moser (pictured above) is a man who is devoted to just a single grape
variety: Grüner Veltliner. I guess it’s not a bad variety to be linked with.
Unique (more or less - there's a tiny bit grown elsewhere) to Austria,
it is responsible for a variety of wine styles, from crisp and fruity
to richer and more serious, with a common signature of white pepper
spiciness. I like it a lot.
name Lenz Moser is still associated with what was his family company
(he’s Lenz Moser V), but this was sold off during the financial
crisis for Austrian wine of the mid-1980s, and he no longer has any
connection with the wines carrying his name. He had worked for the
family firm for 15 years, with 11 years as general manager, a position
he assumed when he was just 30. After the sell-off, he needed a new
focus, and this is what he got.
Mosers had been friends with the Mondavis for a while, and Mike
Mondavi called him to ask him to head up operations in Europe, to try
to do a better job than had previously been done from the USA. Lenz
worked for the Mondavis for 8 years, and reckons he would have still
been there now if it hadn’t been for the sale of Mondavi a couple of
again, he was at a junction. What next? In fact, he’d already
decided to make Grüner Veltliner again a few years back. ‘I had a walk on the beach with
my daughter Sophie’, he recalls, ‘and we talked for two hours’.
She was just 11 then; now she’s 16. ‘We developed a common vision
for the rest of my life: she said she wanted to run a winery with
me’. Now Sophie’s twin sister Anna also wants to be involved. It
looks like the Moser family business will carry on.
with the name Lenz Moser taken, the new project was dubbed ‘Laurenz
V’, and of the 5000 people who bottle their own wine in Austria,
Lenz thinks this is the only one to focus exclusively on Grüner Veltliner.
‘Based on 25 years experience in the marketplace, we wanted to
create an international style of Grüner Veltliner’, says Lenz. He points out that in Austria it is
frequently super-peppery and dry; he’s aimed at rounding the edges
while retaining authenticity. ‘Grüner Veltliner
should be something joyful and not too complicated’, he says.
target group for the Laurenz V wines is predominantly female. ‘70%
of all wine purchased in Europe is by women’, Lenz points out. Hence
the packaging, which is very stylish (although the obligtory red and
white Austrian symbol on top of the capsule clashes a bit). He
works with two winemakers, Ernest Grossauer and Fred Loimer, buying
grapes from a range of growers. In the first year 9000 cases were
made, a figure that jumped to 36 000 cases for the subsequent (and
the marketeer, Lenz talks about his target markets. For premium wines
(retailing at £6+), the USA is the largest with 80 million cases. 2nd
biggest with 33 million cases is Switzerland, and the third biggest
with 22 million is the UK. 80% of worldwide consumption of wine is in
Europe, 2% is in Asia and 18% is in the USA. He has identified 12 key
markets for his wines, with Gemany, USA, UK and Austria at the top of
the list. He has a hitlist of 900 restaurants and hotels in Austria
where he wants his wines listed, and he’s well on the way to
achieving this goal.
to the wines. They’re reassuringly very good: distinctively Grüner Veltliner, but with a broad appeal.
Sophie Friendly Grüner Veltliner 2005
Named after Sophie, this is rounded, rich and full with some
melony fruit and a touch of spice. Transparent and rich at the same
time, this is a lovely drinkable wine. Very good+ 89/100
V Charming Grüner Veltliner 2005
Quite dense, clean and fresh with persistent spicy flavours.
Smooth, but there’s more minerality here than with the Friendly
wine. Delicious stuff. Very good/excellent 90/100
und Sophie Singing Grüner Veltliner 2005
Fresh, bright and quite zingy with good acidity. This is a very
fresh style with a hint of pepperines to it. More edge to it than the
Friendly wine. Very good+ 88/100 (Tesco £6.99)
wines are represented in the UK by www.bibendum-wine.co.uk
also: series on
Wines tasted 10/06
these wines with wine-searcher.com
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