Pfaffl Wine Estate, Weinviertel (Niederösterreich, Austria) St. Laurent Altenberg Vineyard 2007

($44, Palm Bay International):  St. Laurent, a grape related to Pinot Noir according to DNA profiling, is gaining popularity in Austria.  After tasting this splendid example, it’s easy to see why.  It’s a harmonious marriage of sweet and savory notes, with even a trace of a bitter cherry finish.  There’s plenty of red fruit flavors, but what’s really notable is the way they are nicely offset by alluring earthy notes.  Similar to Pinot Noir, this wine delivers more flavor than its mid-weight nature suggests.  Fine tannins add class and allow for immediate consumption, although I suspect it will develop even more complexity with cellaring given its balance.  That said, it’s a superb match for roast chicken with a mushroom sauce and is hard to resist now. 93 Michael Apstein Nov 8, 2011