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Month June 2012

Juris St. Laurent Wines – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Juris St. Laurent Wines

It is important that a wine or wines make an impression on first taste but I am also fascinated how I remember those wines weeks later.  The ‘several-weeks-later’ test shows there was something lingering and is top of mind.

I was fortunate enough to attend a wonderful tasting in San Francisco Valencia food lane at Bar Tartine where Juris wines were being poured on April 30 of this year (2012).   Axel and Herta Stiegelmar were pouring their wines.  I was delighted to know that this event would be at Bar Tartine–superb food to highlight Juris wines.  While Grüner Veltliner often upstages all other Austrian wines (red or white) –no doubt a great varietal and yet there are other outstanding varietals from Austria: Sankt Laurent (St. Laurent), Zweigelt, Welschriesling, Müller-Thurgau, Blaufränkisch, Blauer Portugieser, Pinot Noir, and Riesling.  Juris wines produces Sankt Laurent, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, blends, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer to name the majority of wines they produce.

The first taste of Sankt Laurent is prominent and it is seems like a muscular Pinot Noir; a wine that is exceptionally refined with considerable finesse.  Sankt Laurent leaves me with a great and yet delightful mystery–it is ponderable on the palette and that senses delight keeps me coming back for more.  Reviewing Oz Clarke’s entry in ‘Grapes & Wines’ on Sankt Laurent cites Axel Stiegelmar (and I did so a few minutes prior to tasting and was amazed at the coincidence of reading about Axel and also knowing that I would be tasting his wines) and cites Axel about the origin of Sankt Laurent.  Sankt Laurent is related to Pinot Noir and another varietal but that varietal is still not known.

Vividness is a great hallmark of a wine—and tasting several vintages shows yearly changes–these wines showed considerable finesse.

I tasted through each of the Juris Sankt Laurent vintages and found nuance and differences in each vintage–a sturdiness and noted the 2002 was lively, bright and intensely packed with gorgeous spice, earthen and dark fruit notes.  I also enjoyed 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 Sankt Laurent and look forward to seeing how these wines develop.




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