Laurier Los Carneros Pinot Noir

Laurier Los Carneros Pinot NoirLaurier is one of 50-some brands owned by Bronco Wine Companionship, best known for producing extremely inexpensive wine brands.  But appearance in at $20 a bottle, this is one of their pricier brands.
The juice in this bottle comes from Los Carneros, a cool and windy province that spans the southern edge of both Sonoma and Napa counties in California.  It’s one of the oldest wine districts in the state, with its first plantings dating to 1870.  But those first plantings didn’t last long due to a phylloxera outbreak in the 1880s.  And while replanting started in 1942, the province really didn’t gain notoriety until the 1980s, when wine consumers started to take notice of the pinot noir and sparkling wines appearance from this province. Read more

Laurenz V. Gruner Veltliner Double Header

Laurenz V. Gruner Veltliner Double HeaderOne of the highlights of my trip to Austria this past fall was the grüner veltliner (pronounced GROO-nah velt-LEE-nah, with your best Germanic accent).  We traveled up the Danube river one day and tasted grüner veltliner from the Wachau and Wagram regions, which are gorgeous areas with terraced vineyards along the shores of the Danube.  There wasn’t a single wine on that trip that I would turn down, they were all quite nice — of course, some were more enjoyable than others.  But one thing that disappoints me is that many of those wines don’t have distribution in the US.  So, rather than write about a bunch of wines you can’t find here, I’m glad to be reviewing a link you can.
Both of these wines are produced by Laurenz V. and the grapes come primarily from the Kamptal and Kremstal regions, which lie between Wachau and Wagram.  The wines from these regions are influence by both the warm air from the Danube and cooler airs from the north, making full ripeness from the warmth and crisp acidity from the cooler airs.  The wines of this province are also strongly influenced by the minerals in the soils, which add subtle nuances to the characteristics of the wine. Read more