Kids Make their Mark in Wine

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
March 31, 2008

Garnet Wines & Liquors
929 Lexington Ave
(68th & 69th Sts)
New York, NY 10065

What do Sophie Moser and Francisca Soares have in common?

They were both born into up-and-coming family wineries and have already designed wine labels!

Sophie’s dad, the famous Austrian winemaker Lenz Moser, focuses on wines from a single indigenous variety, Grüner Veltliner, a grape often overlooked in favor of the rising star Riesling. When Sophie was eleven, she had a serious talk with her dad, encouraging him to go back to his roots and concentrate on Grüner; she also expressed her interest in running the winery with him when she grew up! Now seventeen, she isn’t quite in charge yet, but she has already left her mark, specifically on the 2006 Laurenz V. Singing ($14). It imparts an aromatic citrus and floral nose and has a bit of natural spritz from the fermentation. This is a fruity, medium-bodied wine with beautiful lingering acidity and fully developed yellow fruit flavors from ageing on lees. A bit less austere than what you’d expect from most Austrian Grüners, basically, you will be singing from your first sip. Sophie signs the bottle “und Sophie.”

Francisca is only nine, but, like Sophie, she is already the label artist behind her family’s Monte da Peceguina Tinto series from Portugal’s Malhadinha Nova winery. Adorning the 2005 release ($20) are the rainbow-colored petals of a simple flower, which the little artist spotted outside her window. The simplistic happiness on the label portrays well what’s to be found inside the bottle. From the Southeastern region, Alentejo, this red wine is a blend of mostly Portuguese varieties: 40% Aragones, 20% Alicante Bouschet, 15% Touriga Nacional, 15% Syrah and 10% Alfrocheiro. This very dark and dense red wine threw me off at first, as it is light in tannin but brimming with acidity. I had to let the bottle air a bit for the wine to open up and settle. Once it did though, it was the perfect pairing with my boiled Chinese pork-and-cabbage dumplings!

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