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The St. Laurent Grape


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About St. Laurent

(Synonyms: Laurenzitraube, Lorenztraube, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Lorentz, Sankt Laurent, Schwarzer, Svatovavřinecké, Svätovavrinecké, Vavřinecké)

Background

Map showing Austria and the Czech Republic

St. Laurent is a red-wine grape believed to have arisen in Austria; some, however, argue that it arose in Bordeaux, then migrated through Alsace and Germany to centeral Europe, its current home, where it is today grown in significant quantities in Austria and its neighbor to the north, the Czech Republic. It is not yet well known outside those regions, but is generally considered one of the dozen and a half or so of world-class red-wine grapes.

The grape is generally thought to be an offspring of Pinot Noir (with the other parent yet unknown), with which it shares many characteristics—indeed, it is often bottled as a blend with Pinot Noir. Broadly speaking, one might say that St. Laurent is a slightly more robust and slightly less subtle wine than Pinot Noir, tending toward wines of strength rather than PN’s delicacy; but it is not unknown for even experts to occasionally confound the two types.

Austria (much like Switzerland in this respect) makes many good to excellent wines rarely seen outside its borders, because their producion and consumption are nearly equal; only quite recently has there been much interest in exporting their wines. Thus, St. Laurent wines are still rather scarce in the U.S., which is rather a shame. (Incidentally, Austria also produces some fine Pinot Noirs.)

St. Laurent wines tend to be strong on dark fruit flavors (especially cherry), with pronounced but soft tannins and good, acid-balanced structure. There is a modern tendency to heavy use of oak in vinifying St. Laurent, though many winemakers think it an ill idea.

Factoid: St. Laurent is one of the parents (along with Blaufräankisch, aka Lemberger) of the now-popular variety Zweigelt.

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Some Descriptions of St. Laurent Wines

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Some St. Laurents to Try

(About this list.)

There are St. Laurents available in the U.S., some quite good; but save those few listed below, none have what we would consider significant general availability. If, however, you find a bottle of St. Laurent not mentioned here, don’t hesitate to give it a try.



Rosi Schuster “Klassik” Sankt Laurent
(The ”Klassik“ does not appear on the label, but that distinguishes this bottling from their several other named St. Laurent botlings.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
  (CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine.)
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Erich Sattler St. Laurent
(This is not their “Reserve” bottling)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

There are no St. Laurent wines with reasonable availability in the U.S. that are enough better than those listed above to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.