This week I have a wine story that sounds so outlandish and improbable that it simply could not be true. But it is. I met with Lenz Moser last week, one of Austria’s most renowned winemakers, in order to taste his brand new Chinese releases. As a precursor to his range he opened a 1996 Lenz Moser cabernet, which he made in his homeland in one of the worst red-wine vintages in living memory. This 23-year-old pale rosé-hued wine was lively, impressive, elderflower and blackberry leaf-scented and thoroughly beguiling.
Of course, it should have been a red wine, but the vintage conditions were so poor that the skins gave up no colour and so Lenz had to make a white wine with the merest tinge of cabernet skin.
Fast forward to today and Lenz poured me the second vintage of his “white cabernet” from Changyu Moser. China is not yet a destination for curious white-wine lovers, but Lenz uses his superb cabernet vines to make white, rosé and red wines. This 2017 is a bright, clean, lifted and refreshing white – it is unlike any other wine in the world. Serendipity, vision, great taste and determination have carried this man forwards such that he now makes three superb wines under his Chinese brand. Look out for the 2018 rosé and 2016 red, which will arrive in the UK later this year (bbr.com) – this is truly groundbreaking work!