Monday, March 7, 2011

Riesling, St. Urbans-hof, Mosel, Germany

Mosel River
There is a place in Germany where the river cuts through the valley like a knife, and there on the slopes facing south, one can see for miles on end the stretch of vineyards that have, in some cases, been there for literally hundreds upon hundreds of years. This place is called the Mosel river, and on the banks of that river lies a small town called Leiwen.

Leiwen, Germany
 Leiwen is home to a relative new-comer; St. Urbans-hof winery ( The winery was started in 1947 although, in the families' words, "they had owned vineyards for centuries". This, much like many farms, is a family affair and now the Wies family is on its' third generation of people lovingly giving their long days and nights to the mighty grape.

 And mighty indeed are the grapes that grow on the Mosel. Although the temperatures are never terribly cold for a northern climate, still there is a substantial lack of sunlight which makes is incredibly difficult to ripen many types of grapes. Luckily for all of us involved (growers and consumers alike), the Mosel river has the perfect soil-type (mostly slate) and just the right amount of sunlight, moisture, etc to be able to grow some of the finest Riesling in the world.

 This cheery little bottle is not one of the finest in the world, but gives remarkable value for the money and would be a welcome addition to any dinner party.

2007 Riesling, weingut St. Urbans-hof
Leiwen, Mosel, Germany
10% ABV, $20   ** EXCELLENT VALUE **
  • visual:   clean with slight sediment; pale gold core with slight watery rim
  • nose:   clean; moderate- intense youthful aromas of summer hay, little summer field flowers, ripe apples, young stonefruit, light lingering petrol notes
  • palate:   clean; off-dry, moderate+ to full (crabapple) acids, moderate- ABV, moderate body, moderate+ intense youthful flavors mimicking the nose quite well with an underlying tight minerality that balances the whole wine. Excellent balance, very good structure and medium length on the palate
  • conclusion:   For just shy of $20 this wine delivers. It has great depth, balance and structure for the price and I would be proud to serve it to guests. Drink now to 2012 - enjoy it before it starts to fade
  • PAIRINGS:   There is a bit on inherent sweetness that makes me want to pair it with something spicy! This is especially true as the alcohol is relatively low, and moderate+ to high alcohol feels much stronger with spice... consider KungPow chicken with almonds, or just a rich Pad Thai... even a gourmet Pho with its' Thai basil and lime would love this wine!
 St. Urban is the old German patron saint of winemaking, and Hof is their word for an estate... I can imagine that St. Urban is well and truly pleased with the work that is being done in his name on the Mosel. Finally, something worth raising my glass and drinking to!

1947 at St. Urbans-hof
As always, I welcome and appreciate your comments and questions.

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

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