Laurenz or Lenz Moser isn’t just The Grüner Guy, though anyone who has met on this shores will be forgiven for thinking so. On his regular visits, his trousers match the colour of his purple trimmed Charming Grüner Veltliner. Like the wine, he is himself charming.
While he is arguably the best foreign ambassador his native Austrian grape, Grüner Veltliner, he is responsible for far more than the seductive white which has been gaining ground and fans over the last 4-5 years.
At TxB International Fine Wines, he manages a portfolio of wines from around the world. Austria, of course, neighbouring Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, even China and more.
An interesting aside is the name of the company. Lenz became good friends with Bob Mondavi. Mondavi used to sign off on his correspondance, Tx B (or thanks, Bob) which provided the inspiration for TxB International Fine Wines.
I’ve had the chance to try three recently, which all impressed equally.
Charming Gruner Veltliner 2009
The label is really smart, the wine is too. It’s a firm favourite of mine since my brother saw Laurenz V. on the label and thought the similarity with my name was a good enough pun for a birthday present.
The 2009 has all the lovely citrus and granny smith apples, creamy middle texture and slightest hints of ginger and white pepper.
Available in good wine shops in Ireland for around €25
Prinz von Hessen Dachsfilet Riesling 2010, Rheingau
Prinz von Hessen is available in Ireland, I believe, but I’m not too sure about the Dachsfilet (the one with the badger). Some of the grapes are handled initially in much the same way as a red wine, being left on its skins after pressing (with reds this imparts colour and flavour, mainly). The effect is a more complex texture, a nice richness, not the searing sherbet acidity and flint you could reasonably expect to get with other Rieslings from the same region. There’s a lot more fruit too and a tingle of sweetness that lessens the impact of the lip tingling acidity.
Plenty of places have it available in the UK – search on wine-searcher.com
Enira 2008, Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria
The final wine in the trio is a red from Bulgaria. It goes for £9.99 in Waitrose in the UK, but no Irish presence that I know of. That’s unlikely to change unless you source it in an Eastern European shop, but it’s worth seeking out.
Not a hint on the label of what grape varieties go into but from taste, it’s got to be plenty of Cabernet and Merlot. Blackcurrant, plums firm tannins, well structured. All the hallmarks of Bordeaux and no doubt, some serious investment. And it seems to be paying off. If Enira is anything to go by, if Bulgaria comes back to our shores, it won’t be at the bottom of the supermarket shelf.
Recommendation: either give this a year on its side or decant it for a few hours. This was even better the day after opening it.
What’s next for TxB? Well, a new vintage of the best Chinese wine is out soon. Now that could be interesting.